A multi-millionaire businessman accused of murdering his girlfriend during “rough sex” has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
John Broadhurst, 40, “totally lost it” during a drug-fuelled and drunken sex session which left Natalie Connolly with more than 40 injuries, a trial heard.
He admitted manslaughter by gross negligence after prosecutors told a jury he left Ms Connolly, 26, unsupervised and failed to contact emergency services in circumstances where “a risk of death as a result of her condition would have been obvious”.
At the direction of a judge at Birmingham Crown Court, Broadhurst was cleared of murder and causing grievous bodily harm.
She had suffered a “blow-out” fracture to her left eye, bruising and internal injuries.
Broadhurst was charged with murder but the Crown Prosecution Service accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter midway through the trial on Tuesday.
Explaining the decision, prosecutor David Mason told the court: “The evidence in this case, which is an extremely unusual case, has been very complicated.
“The family [of the victim] have been consulted and are entirely content with the view that the prosecution have taken.”
Broadhurst, a property developer said to have a fortune of around £15m, had separated from a former partner, who was pregnant with their second child, around three months before Ms Connolly’s death.
Ms Connolly had told friends that she and the defendant had an interest in masochistic sex, the court heard.
A paramedic told Broadhurst’s trial that the father-of-three appeared hungover and did not seem “unduly upset” after finding his partner’s body at about 9.30am.
Broadhurst, of Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, will be sentenced next Monday after being granted bail.
Adjourning the case, trial judge Julian Knowles told him: “You have pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
“Whilst it is not a charge of murder, it is nonetheless an exceptionally serious offence. All sentencing options remain open. You should be prepared for a custodial sentence of some length.”
Additional reporting by agencies
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