Stoke & Staffordshire

Natalie Connolly: Killer's sentence will not be reviewed

Natalie Connolly Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Natalie Connolly was left for dead by her partner John Broadhurst after "rough sex"

The sentence of a man who left his girlfriend for dead after "rough sex" will not be reviewed.

Multi-millionaire John Broadhurst was sentenced to three years and eight months for killing Natalie Connolly at their home in Kinver, Staffordshire.

It was referred to the Attorney General's office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

But the office said the sentence would not be referred to the Court of Appeal, as it fell within the available range.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said: "The Attorney General was unable to intervene in this case because the sentence given fell within the range available to the judge.

Consensual sex

"This meant that the Court of Appeal would not increase the sentence if the Attorney referred it to them."

During Broadhurst's trial, the court heard Ms Connolly had suffered more than 40 separate injuries.

She was pronounced dead on 18 December 2016 after he called paramedics to their rented home.

Broadhurst, 40, was initially charged with murder but later admitted manslaughter by gross negligence. He claimed the 26-year-old mother-of-one was hurt as a result of consensual sexual activity fuelled by alcohol and drugs.

He also claimed he found her "dead as a doughnut" at the bottom of their stairs.

Image copyright PA
Image caption John Broadhurst admitted manslaughter by gross negligence which was accepted in place of his original murder charge

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

Labour's former minister for women MP Harriet Harman wrote to the attorney general to assess whether Broadhurst's sentencing was too "lenient", but it had already been referred by a member of the public.

In a tweet, Ms Harman said she was "bitterly disappointed" by the decision.

Following the referral, Ms Connolly's father Alan Andrews had described Broadhurst's sentence as "disgraceful".

Mr Andrews said: "To say you can be out in 22 months for doing what he did to my daughter, we can't believe it."

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