Natalie Connolly's killer to be freed from prison after less than two years

A millionaire businessman who killed his partner is to be freed after serving less than two years in prison, it can be revealed today.

John Broadhurst, left, admitted the gross negligence manslaughter of Natalie Connolly, right
John Broadhurst, left, admitted the gross negligence manslaughter of Natalie Connolly, right

John Broadhurst, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Natalie Connolly but cleared of murder, is due to be released within weeks, less than halfway into his 44-month sentence which was blasted as “unduly lenient” by prominent figures, including MP Harriet Harman.

The senior Labour figure was among campaigners who, along with Ms Connolly’s family, tried to have Broadhurst’s sentence extended but it has emerged he will soon be free.

The 26-year-old mother was left to die in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs by her millionaire partner Broadhurst, 41, at their home on Kenrose Mill, Kinver, in 2016 after being subjected to violent abuse during sex.

Natalie Connolly was a mother to a 10-year-old daughter

Her death attracted national attention and earlier this month led to the so-called “rough sex defence”, the claim that the victim consented to the injuries which caused their death, in courts being banned.

Ms Connolly’s MP Mark Garnier, who was part of a cross-party campaign to stop killers and violent attackers using the defence, said Broadhurst’s imminent release provided more evidence that her family had got no justice.

He believes mistakes were made in the trial in December 2018, including the prosecution’s decision to drop the murder charge which could have seen Broadhurst serve “a 15- to 20-year stretch”.

'An absolute tragedy'

Mr Garnier also said he was concerned for constituents that the millionaire was about to be released back into society.

The Wyre Forest MP confirmed Broadhurst was due to be released in the coming weeks and said he and Ms Harman were seeking clarification around the terms of his release.

Police at the house where Natalie Connolly, inset, died

He said: “There is no justice in this. There never has been for Natalie. She was deprived of her life and of her reputation by this man and he got 18 months for it.

“Natalie Connolly was not someone who was into rough sex. This was Broadhurst using it. She was a just a fairly normal, fun-loving mother who, like most people, wanted a nice, happy relationship with someone she loved.”

Mr Garnier labelled the 2018 trial as “maybe the perfect storm of inadequacy”.

He added: “People should know in this profession how to behave better. If the judge and the prosecuting barrister had done what they should have, Broadhurst would be on a 15- to 20-year stretch. That is an absolute tragedy.”

The MP said Broadhurst’s release would be another blow for Ms Connolly’s family.

“Of course, they are going to be gutted. It’s a terrible thing," he added.

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