A 24-year-old man who killed a woman by accidentally stabbing her through the neck during sadomasochistic sex has been jailed for six years.
Jason Gaskell was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting the gross negligence manslaughter of 21-year-old Laura Huteson in his Hull home in what a judge described as a “highly unusual case”.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Gaskell, who sobbed as he was sentenced: “In simple terms you unlawfully killed the woman with whom you were having sexual intercourse by stabbing her through the neck during bizarre and violent, sadomasochistic sexual activity.
“You deliberately held the knife to her throat during sexual intercourse. Whilst performing the sexual act that knife went through her neck, severing a vital artery and vein.
“You did not intend that to happen but the danger of stabbing the victim was obvious.”
The judge said there was no suggestion the sex was non-consensual.
He said: “It appears you harboured a desire for, and regularly put into practice, a particularly extreme form of sexual activity in that you enjoyed sadomasochism whereby you held the throats of sexual partners very tightly and regularly used a knife in the midst of sexual congress, usually by holding it against the throat of a woman.
“You kept a knife under your pillow for that purpose.”
Judge Richardson said Ms Huteson was a “much-loved daughter”, although she had become estranged from her family.
Judge Richardson said: “You regularly would place your hands around the throats of sexual partners and this would be exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs.
“You indulged in what can only be described as extremely dangerous sadomasochistic sexual acts where, given the use of the knife as a means of simulated threats, there was an acute risk of serious violence and death being visited open your sexual partner.
“The fact the partner consented to this form of sexual activity is limited mitigation.”
He said: “This is not a case where you were participating in experimental sexual perversion. You regularly and repeatedly took colossal dangers when indulging your sexual fantasies. There can be no other way of characterising your conduct when a knife is used as a key component of the sexual act.”
The judge said: “This may be called role-play but it was an exceptionally dangerous form of it, with acute risks of death and serious injuries as part of it.”
He said the pair had only just met on February 27 and went to the defendant’s home, where others were present, and everyone was taking cocaine and drinking vodka.
They had sex during which Gaskell put his hands round Miss Huteson’s neck but he eventually stopped when she used an agreed safe word.
Later that night the two of them were seen playing in the snow outside the house but had sex again later.
Judge Richardson said: “There is no suggestion it was any form of rape or in any way an act of unwanted sexual activity.”
But he said: “It has been described inelegantly as ‘rough sex’ and ‘adventurous’. I eschew any such descriptions. It was simply extremely dangerous sadomasochistic sexual conduct.”
He said: “You were both heavily intoxicated through alcohol and drugs.”
The judge said Gaskell held the knife to Miss Huteson’s throat and first realised something was wrong when “she gave a jerking motion”.
Gaskell later told police Miss Huteson had fallen or rolled onto the knife.
Even after he admitted what happened, the judge said there were no other witnesses and the court heard no-one will ever know the full story.
Judge Richardson told him: “I do not doubt you are filled with remorse.”
As he left court, Gaskell, still crying, thanked the judge and waved to someone in the public gallery.
Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Goulding, of Humberside Police, described the victim, who had a young son, as “loving and caring”.
He said: “Laura’s family have shown courage and determination during the investigations and the court proceedings, something they would never have expected to have to experience and that must have been very difficult throughout.
“I hope that the conclusion of the case will now enable Laura’s family and friends to move forward and remember Laura as the loving and caring young woman she was.”