Mohammud Yusuf was today sentenced for murder.
On 18th October 2013 police were called to an address in Neasden after a carer had reported that one of the women she looked after had been attacked. Amoe Stevens was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards of her injuries.
Her son in law, Mohammud Yusuf, was quickly arrested. He lived with Ms Stevens daughter (Margaret) and their two children. It was alleged that after Margaret had left the house, Mr Yusuf attacked her mother – it seems that this was not the first occasion that this had happened.
The prosecution stated that there was a sexual motive for this, and put forward evidence that Mr Yusuf had an ‘obsession with violent pornography’ and his mobile phone had ‘searches for pornographic videos showing violent rape, gang rape and incest’.
On 2nd June 2014 Mr Yusuf was unanimously convicted of murder. Sentence was adjourned until Friday 6 June..
The Judge made various comments about the gravity of the offence – “This lady suffered the most agonising death imaginable … I have never come across such a factual background of a case like this”,
As well you know by now, there is only one sentence for murder – mandatory life. The question facing the Judge was how long was the tariff going to be?
Our factsheet on murder sentencing is here.
We don’t have the Judge’s sentencing remarks (yet) but it was thought that this may well be considered to be a murder ‘involving sexual or sadistic conduct‘, which would give a starting point of 30 years. From there, the Judge would have to consider whether to move up or down (or both) to reflect the aggravation and mitigation.
In the event, the Judge imposed a 25-year minimum term. There was no discount for a guilty plea, which in murder cases is limited to 1/6 or 5 years.
We are unaware of the exact facts – and the extent of the injuries – and so making an assessment of the length of minimum term is difficult.
What we are able to say though, however, is that whether the Judge selected a 30-year minimum term (based on sexual conduct – which seems likely) or a 15-year term (having decided that the higher starting point didn’t apply, it is the eventual total that matters.
Moving down from 30 to reflect mitigation, or moving up from 15 to reflect aggravation is simply two routes to the same end; the correct sentence.
As we have said, we are unsure as to whether this is too short so we will wait for the sentencing remarks to see how the Judge arrived at the 25-year figure.