A multi-millionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after “rough sex” has lost a Court of Appeal bid to have his jail term cut.
Property developer John Broadhurst left Natalie Connolly “drunk and bleeding” at the foot of the stairs in the home they shared in Kenrose Mill, Kinver, near Stourbridge, after the pair had sex following an alcohol and cocaine binge.
He was jailed for three years and eight months at Birmingham Crown Court in December last year after admitting manslaughter by gross negligence for failing to get medical help for the 26-year-old mother of one.
Broadhurst, 41, of Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, near Kidderminster, challenged his sentence at a hearing on Thursday, with his lawyers arguing it was “too long”.
But his appeal was rejected by three senior judges, who said the term was “not manifestly excessive”.
Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mr Justice Warby and Judge Sarah Munro QC, said the Crown Court judge was “entitled” to take account of the fact that Connolly’s need for medical attention partly arose from injuries inflicted by Broadhurst.
He told the court: “We agree with the observation of the judge that to ignore that fact would be to ignore an important feature of the case.”
The judge added: “We are quite unable to accept the proposition that (Broadhurst’s) gross negligence was of brief duration, partly excused by his own intoxication and to be assessed on a basis which ignored his own role in Ms Connolly’s injuries and intoxicated state.”
Broadhurst was originally tried for murder, but was cleared by the jury on the judge’s direction at the close of the prosecution case.
He admitted manslaughter by leaving 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.
The Crown Court heard he dialled 999 on the morning of December 18 2016 and told the operator he had woken up to find his partner “dead as a doughnut” at the bottom of the stairs.
Connolly was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic and a post-mortem examination showed she had suffered more than 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma caused during a sexual act.
Some of the injuries were as a result of her drunkenly falling over and were not caused by Broadhurst, the court heard.
Lord Justice Holroyde told the court Broadhurst was in a “loving relationship” with Connolly.
The couple had both been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine in the hours before Connolly’s death and the level of alcohol in her blood was five times the legal limit for driving.
Members of Connolly’s family sat in the public gallery and listened as Broadhurst’s barrister made submissions on his behalf.
Lord Justice Holroyde said the court had read statements which he said made clear the “pain and suffering” her death has caused them.
He added: “On any view, this offence has not only ended one life, but has blighted many others.”