The case perplexed me. I think, in part, because British law differs a bit from U.S. law. But also, while Joanne (or was it Joanna?) was clearly guilty of numerous crimes and deserved prison time, it was also clear she did not plot any murders and didn't foresee them happening. Maybe she thought her ex could be killed, but not the others. The video footage from the shop showed she was nervous holding the gun and threatening the cashier.
Jake flirting with Alesha had a been there/done that feel. Not that James flirted with Alesha like that, but the writers already played the potential office romance angle.