England

Millionaire jailed for girlfriend's 'rough sex' death

John Broadhurst Image copyright PA
Image caption John Broadhurst admitted manslaughter by gross negligence

A multi-millionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after "rough sex" has been jailed for three years and eight months.

John Broadhurst admitted manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court last week. He was cleared of murder.

Natalie Connolly had suffered more than 40 separate injuries, the court heard.

Broadhurst, 40, told a 999 operator he found his partner "dead as a doughnut" at their home in Kinver, Staffordshire, in December 2016.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Natalie Connolly had recently moved into the house with Broadhurst

Sentencing, Judge Mr Justice Julian Knowles said Broadhurst "showed blatant disregard for a very drunk and injured woman".

Broadhurst claimed the 26-year-old mother-of-one was injured as a result of consensual sexual activity fuelled by alcohol and drugs.

The court previously heard Ms Connolly had told people she and the defendant had an interest in masochistic sex.

Property developer Broadhurst, said to have a fortune up to £15m, admitted manslaughter by gross negligence by leaving Ms Connolly unsupervised and failing to contact the emergency services in circumstances where "a risk of death as a result of her condition would have been obvious".

Prosecutors had alleged he "totally lost it" during a drink and drug-fuelled sex session, before leaving Ms Connolly to die.

Judge Knowles said: "You were capable of taking decisions and making choices. This was grossly irresponsible behaviour by you.

"You left that vulnerable young woman to die in the saddest and most avoidable of circumstances."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The couple had been drinking heavily at a West Brom game before Ms Connolly died

Ms Connolly was pronounced dead on 18 December 2016 after Broadhurst called paramedics to their rented home. She died from acute alcohol intoxication and blunt force injuries.

In mitigation, defence Stephen Vullo QC, said Broadhurst, of Wolverley, knew his partner was bleeding but did not think she would come to any harm.

"He feels remorse for it and always has done," Mr Vullo told the court. "This case is about negligence and somebody losing a loved one."

Her family said she might be alive today if Broadhurst had phoned the emergency services sooner.

They said: "It is now clear to us that the guilty admission made by Broadhurst shows the heartless way in which he left Natalie at the bottom of the stairs, without any concern for her dignity or wellbeing.

"He has demonstrated what a callous, disrespectful person he really is, and has never publicly apologised or shown any remorse for the cruel way in which he left my daughter."

The statement added Ms Connolly's daughter will have to "serve a life sentence" without her mother.

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