We don’t have the sentencing remarks from the Judge, but it appears that Ms Otmani, for reasons that aren’t clear, decided to kill her partner, Shaun Corey. She drugged him, tied him to the bed, and then suffocated him. After that, she hid his body in a wheelie bin where it was found in a police search 11 days later.
It seems that Ms Otmani admitted killing Mr Corey in the police interview and the issue at trial was whether she intended to kill or cause really serious harm to him, or something lesser. The jury disbelieved her.
The sentence of life imprisonment is a mandatory one. But why did she get a tariff of 17 years? The starting point is 15 years. We don’t know anything of Ms Otmani’s background, so that is probably a neutral factor. Two aggravating features would appear to be present : (a) a significant degree of planning and (g) concealment of the body. There do not appear to be any of the mitigating features. The Judge obviously concluded that an increase of 2 years from the 15 year starting point was sufficient to meet the justice of the situation.
Comment – The sentence, of itself, seems to be a typical application of the sentencing principles. It is interesting however to compare the sentence with the case of Ashley Charles, who was being sentenced in the same Court and at the same time as Ms Otmani was being convicted. That case (on the guidelines) was a lot less serious – is the difference of only 3 years in the tariff between Ms Otmani and Mr Charles justified? Should there have been a bigger difference? Or a smaller?