Introduction and Facts
In January this year, Dominic Isom, 28, killed his fiancé Samantha Henderson, 25, seemingly by punching her repeatedly causing “multiple blunt force” head and neck injuries“.
Mr Isom wrapped Ms Henderson’s body in a plastic sheet and duvet and dumped it in a lake, where it was found nine days later.
Suspicion quickly fell on Mr Isom. He admitted killing her, but said that it was in self-defence/defence of another, when he saw her trying to strangle one of her children (Ms Henderson had four children aged between one and six).
The jury disbelieved him and, on 23rd July 2015, found him guilty of murder.
It is not clear what triggered the murder. We are told that the couple “had a “fractious” and “jealous” relationship which led to arguments, mostly regarding previous relationships“.
Mr Isom had 20 sets out previous convictions for 36 offences. It is not clear if any of these related to Ms Henderson.
The sentence for murder is mandatory – life imprisonment. The question is what is the tariff – the minimum period that has to be served before Mr Isom can be considered for release.
In Mr Isom’s case, the Judge set the tariff at 17 years.
The factsheet sets out the approach that the Court would consider. Here, the starting point is 15 years.
The main aggravating feature was the fact that Ms Henderson’s body was disposed of in a lake, and that Mr Isom had a fair amount of previous convictions.
There two factors are, we suspect, the reason that the tariff was increased.
In the circumstances, it would seem that a higher increase could have been imposed, so we doubt that an appeal would be successful.