A church-going boyfriend who choked his student lover to death failed to persuade top judges his sentence was too harsh.
Daniel Anthony Michael Jones was jailed for 10 years, with a five-year extended licence period, at Wolverhampton Crown Court in February after admitting the manslaughter of Korean student Da In Lee. The jury had acquitted Jones of her murder.
The 22-year-old’s fear of Jones was such that she had tried to move away from the area to avoid him, although there had been a ‘form of reconciliation’ shortly before her death at his hands in April last year.
Miss Lee’s death, on Easter Sunday last year, followed a row which ended with 28-year-old Jones squeezing her around the windpipe while he clamped a hand over her mouth.
The jury at Jones’ trial heard that the attack came after a trivial row about hair being left down the plughole.
Former Wolverhampton University student Jones, of Grace Road, Tipton, said he could not recall how long he applied pressure but expert evidence suggested it was up to 30 seconds.
Mr Justice Blair, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Keith, said ‘callous’ Jones had put his hand over Miss Lee’s mouth to ‘stop her screaming’ and would have seen the signs of asphyxiation on her face as he choked her.
He said: “We do not consider the sentence to be manifestly excessive,” the judge said, dismissing Jones’ appeal.
When he was sentenced for manslaughter at Wolverhampton Crown Court earlier this year, Judge John Wait said Jones carried out an ‘act of violence’ and represented a ‘substantial risk’.
The court heard how Miss Lee’s death had a ‘devastating effect’ on her family.
Her mother and father travelled from Korea to identify her body. Miss Lee’s sister planned to study in England but abandoned those hopes in the wake of her sibling’s death.
Jones made no attempt to help Miss Lee after she stopped breathing and in the hours after her death tried to book airline tickets to fly toNew York.
He eventually confessed to what he had done to former partner Stacey Miller after visiting her in Bristol.
Jones assaulted Miss Lee weeks earlier which had left her frightened and seeking to end their relationship.