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17 December 2018, 15:00 | Updated: 17 December 2018, 15:08
A multi-millionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after consensual "rough sex" has been jailed for 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 by gross negligence by failing to summon medical help.
A trial was told Broadhurst dialled 999 from his then home in Kenrose Mill, Kinver, near Stourbridge, informing the operator he had woken up to find his partner "dead as a doughnut" at the bottom of the stairs.
Ms Connolly, aged 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic on the morning of December 18 2016.
A post-mortem examination showed the mother-of-one had suffered more than 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma caused during a consensual act.
Broadhurst pleaded guilty to manslaughter 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.
Passing sentence on Broadhurst on Monday at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Julian Knowles told the 40-year-old father-of-three: "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." Offering mitigation before sentencing, defence QC Stephen Vullo said Broadhurst, now of Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, had set up home with Ms 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 Ms Connolly's death, the court heard. Stressing that Broadhurst had been cleared of what prosecutors initially claimed was an "angry" assault, Mr Vullo said of Ms 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," Mr 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.
The family of Ms Connolly - who died from acute alcohol intoxication and blunt force injuries - released a statement after the case.
The statement read: "During the last five weeks we have had to endure hearing the most horrendous and harrowing evidence of how Broadhurst left Natalie at the bottom of the stairs. "Instead of getting Natalie the medical help she needed, Broadhurst chose to go to bed and sleep instead.
"He has demonstrated what a callous, disrespectful person he really is, and has never publicly apologised or shown any remorse." The statement added: "If Broadhurst had got the medical help from the emergency services at the time of this incident, Natalie may still be alive.
"Natalie was a loving and caring daughter, granddaughter, and sister, but above all she was a loving mother to her 10-year old daughter, who now has to grow up without her Mummy by her side.
"She will to have to live a life sentence without her Mummy. "Natalie was, and still is at the centre of our world, and we will all try to rebuild our lives knowing we will no longer have the beauty, the joy and the happiness of having Natalie by our side."