A multi-millionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after “rough sex” at their home has been sentenced to three years and eight months.
Property developer John Broadhurst was last week cleared of murdering Natalie Connolly and causing her grievous bodily harm but admitted her manslaughter on the grounds of gross negligence.
Jailing Broadhurst, Mr Justice Julian Knowles accepted that the 40-year-old and Connolly had been happy together during their brief relationship.
But the judge told him: “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. You showed blatant disregard for a very drunk and injured woman.”
A trial was told the father-of-three dialled 999 from his then home in Kenrose Mill, Kinver, near Stourbridge, informing the operator he had found his partner “dead as a doughnut” at the bottom of the stairs.
Connolly, aged 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic on the morning of December 18, 2016.
A post-mortem showed the mother-of-one had suffered more than 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma.
A trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told that Broadhurst claimed Connolly was injured as a result of consensual sexual activity after both of them drank alcohol and took drugs.
The businessman – said during his trial to be worth up to £15 million – 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”.
Prosecutors had alleged that Broadhurst “totally lost it” during a drink and drug-fuelled sex session, before leaving Connolly to die.
Offering mitigation before sentencing, defence QC Stephen Vullo said Broadhurst, now of Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, had set up home with Connolly in the context of a loving relationship.
The couple had both been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine on the day leading up to Connolly’s death, the court heard.
Stressing that Broadhurst had been cleared of what prosecutors initially claimed was an “angry” assault, Vullo said of Connolly’s death: “He accepts he should have recognised the risk she was in and failed to do so.
“He feels remorse for it and always has done. This case is about negligence and somebody losing a loved one.”
The lawyer added that Broadhurst knew his partner was bleeding but did not think she would come to any harm.
“The backdrop to this was a loving, and what was going to be a long-term, relationship,” Vullo added.
Broadhurst, who was showed no emotion as he was sentenced, was told he will serve half of his sentence in prison and the remainder on licence.