A “callous” abuser humiliated her partner by sharing a photograph of him bound with electrical cables before he choked to death, a court heard.
Charlotte Dootson, 25, strangled Mohammed Mukhtar, 53, at his home in Manchester following a campaign of abusive and violent conduct against him.
On Tuesday, she was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 and a half years in custody before she can be considered for parole.
Paramedics found the victim untied after a report of concern for his welfare at about midday on August 30. He was pronounced dead at his flat in the Miles Platting area of the city.
“Gentle” Mr Mukhtar, known as Amin, had also suffered a laceration to his liver which was caused by a kick or stamp to his stomach from the defendant.
Earlier, Dootson had rung a man who seven days before she had started flirting with online, Manchester Crown Court heard. During their conversation they exchanged sexual images of each other and engaged in sexual conversation.
Dootson had also sent a picture of Mr Mukhtar bound by his feet, hands and neck on the sofa in his living room.
The man texted: “Hope you don’t do that to me.” Dootson replied: “Never hang you.” The man went on: “You can tie me up in kinky way”, to which Dootson said: “Shouldn’t that be the man x”. He replied: “Oh that if you into that x”. Dootson said: “I sure am, I’m into whips x”.
Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said it was as if the defendant was “revelling in or amused” by Mr Mukhtar’s turmoil. He said: “Her violence against the deceased was gratuitous and her treatment of him degrading and humiliating.”
Hours after sending the photograph, she called her father and said Mr Mukhtar was not breathing or moving and she thought she had killed him. Her father asked her to put him in the recovery position, start CPR and call an ambulance but the defendant said she did not want to alert the police and left the address.
Dootson was arrested in the street shortly after and earlier this month pleaded guilty to murder.
Mr Bassano said it was not an isolated incident and that Dootson had repeatedly assaulted Mr Mukhtar during their four-year relationship, often with weapons including knives and twice causing him to seek hospital treatment.
The victim also reported to medics in March and July last year that Dootson had strangled him with extension leads.
Between May 2018 and July 2021 there were 12 calls to the police about Dootson inflicting violence and she was arrested on three occasions and charged once. However, no action was ultimately taken as Mr Mukhtar lied to protect her or more often confirmed the violence but refused to support a prosecution, the court was told.
At the time of the murder the defendant was also under investigation for an allegation of assaulting Mr Mukhtar by strangulation.
Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC said Mr Mukhtar, a man of slight stature, had been described as a “gentle and kind man who faced considerable challenges in his life, particularly mental health problems”.
He told Dootson: “He was undoubtedly a vulnerable man and you chose to take advantage of his vulnerability. The relationship was abusive and you were the abuser.”
Tim Storrie QC, defending, said his client suffered from a number of mental disorders, most notably a personality disorder with disassociative traits, and had been homeless for most of her adult life and in exploitative relationships.
He told the court: “It is not her fault to any degree that she was the focus of some form of trauma in her young life.
“It is the case that but for the trauma she may never have developed this disordered personality.”
However, the judge said Dootson’s mental health issues, along with a mild learning disability, only had a “limited impact” on her blameworthiness for the killing.
In a victim personal statement on behalf of the family, Mr Mukhtar’s sister, Fozia, said: “Each and every one of us are tormented at the thought of what Amin endured in the final moments before his death.
“It is just pure evil and callous. Amin was a timid guy, he was just so quiet and kind. He wouldn’t hurt anyone and he did not deserve what you did to him.
“We can never forgive you for what you have done and for taking such a well-loved, genuine guy away from us all. Our hearts are broken.”
Dootson, who smirked on prison videolink throughout the hearing, grinned and held her thumbs up to the camera in response to the family’s statement.