Killer who strangled lover to death during ‘sex game’ is jailed for four years

A KILLER who strangled his lover to death during sex has been caged for four years.

Sam Pybus, 31, admitted killing Sophie Moss, 33, in Darlington during a rough sex game gone wrong in February.

He denied murdering Sophie – but later admitted "unlawful killing" and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Pybus was today sentenced to four years and eight months in prison, Teeside Live reports.

Today, Sophie's brother James read out a statement about his "joyous and vibrant, funny, talented" sister.

He said: “To put into words the impact the tragic death of my beloved sister Sophie has had on me and my family seems impossible.

"My sadness is too overwhelming.

"More than anything I miss her and I miss her love – everyday with my entire being.

"I would give anything to hear her laugh again."

He said their mum is "utterly heartbroken" and "completely stricken with grief".

Meanwhile their father, who suffers from dementia, was "instantly traumatised" at Sophie's death, which is the "only thing he has even part registered for years".

Sentencing Pybus, Judge Paul Watson QC said: “Sophie was someone who suffered from her own disabilities and her own vulnerabilities.

"I also find that this was a case in which at the time you were voluntarily intoxicated – unable to judge the situation and perhaps to have stopped when it was obvious that you had gone too far.

“Sophie was a much-loved mother, daughter and sister and her death has devastated her entire family.

"The sense of loss of Sophie has been, to use her brother James’ own words for the whole family, immeasurable.”

He added: “It was, in my judgement, obviously dangerous conduct whether consensual or otherwise.”


Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

 If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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