Introduction and Facts
In the early hours of 27th March 2016 Emma-Jayne Magson, a 23 year old woman from Leicester had an argument with her boyfriend James Knight (aged 26).
It is not clear what the argument was about, but we are told that the two had had a short, but ‘volatile‘, relationship. During the course of the argument, Ms Magson took a steak knife and stabbed Mr Knight in the chest.
The evidence was that although the wound was to prove fatal, had Ms Magson sought help immediately Mr Knight may well have survived.
Instead, it seems that Ms Magson waited for a period of time before calling an ambulance. Even then, she failed to mention that Mr Knight had been stabbed (which would have elicited a quicker response) instead saying when told that the ambulance would be delayed “No, that’s fine, don’t worry about it“.
At the trial, Ms Magson’s case was that she had been acting in self-defence. However, on 4th November, Ms Magson was convicted of murder.
It is unclear what the argument was about or why she made the decision not to call the ambulance, other than this followed a period of heavy drinking.
The only sentence for murder is that of life imprisonment. The question for the Judge, when sentencing Ms Magson on 7th November, was how long the tariff should be (see here for a factsheet on how sentencing for murder is approached).
In this case, the Judge set the tariff at 17 years. The case clearly fell in the 15 year starting point and wishing this there is a range of a few years either way (and sometimes more) to take account of the varying aggravating and mitigating features.
In this case we do not have the sentencing remarks, but there is nothing to suggest that this is outside the range of what would be expected.