There has been widespread outrage in response to the verdict and sentencing in the case of John Broadhurst, convicted of killing Natalie Connolly.
We are not legal experts. We are not clear what the route to legal redress is in this case. But we are experts in being female and we understand the law does not work for women. This is why one of our New Year Resolutions pledges to make sure it does.
We are calling for a review of the case to ensure that justice is done for Natalie and for women everywhere.
This powerful and challenging letter was written to the Attorney General by @ThatMidwife and has been widely shared on Twitter. With her permission, we are posting it here to ensure that it continues to be easily available.
The author is a specialist midwife with 8 years experience and one small daughter. She is very concerned about male violence towards women in a country where women’s safe spaces are being closed and abused.
Regina V John Broadhurst
I am a research midwife in Norfolk and I am married with a 6 year old daughter. This is important because I am a very ordinary person who has never written to the Attorney General before.
I am writing to you today because Natalie Connolly is dead and no longer has a voice.
I am writing to you so that when she is older her little daughter, Maddison, may know that her mother’s terrible death did not go unnoticed.
I write to you at a time when women’s rights and voices are being eroded and silenced on all fronts.
It has never been a more confusing and dangerous time to be a woman in the UK.
There is one thing that I am not confused about. One cannot, in law – with a blood alcohol level of 350-500 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – consent to having a plastic trigger bottle of carpet cleaner inserted into one’s vagina.
On the night she died, Natalie was so drunk, and had so much cocaine in her system, that she was at a very real risk of death without the fatal physical injuries she sustained.
I am aware that Mr Broadhurst claimed during his trial that he had left Natalie in similar states before but, as a midwife with many years’ experience, I can assure you that this is absolutely untrue. No woman can possibly survive a vaginal arterial laceration that is left untreated.
Allow me to be very clear: it is a death sentence.
I find it simply staggering that although Mr Broadhurst tried to remove the trigger bottle from Natalie’s vagina, when he was unable to he went to get lubrication. This was considered by the defence expert obstetrician and gynaecologist, Mr Nicholas Morris to be a ‘good idea’.
May I suggest that at this point Mr Broadhurst was sufficiently aware of the situation that he could have had another ‘good idea’ & called an ambulance for Natalie?
By not doing so he effectively killed her.
Mr Broadhurst had to break the trigger bottle to remove it from Natalie’s vagina.
Geoffrey, have you ever had occasion to try & snap a trigger bottle? I have and it is almost impossible. The force required is simply unimaginable when translated to delicate human anatomy.
Within 15-20 minutes of her vaginal arterial bleed commencing Natalie would have been almost beyond help. A vaginal haemorrhage is an extremely frightening and unpleasant manner in which to die.
It did not have to be so. Here in the UK we are uncommonly good at emergency treatment of vaginal haemorrhage.
We assume that at this point Natalie was unconscious as she was so drunk. Nevertheless, she apparently consented to this.
Natalie was 26 years old when she died. She died naked, bruised, battered, with a smashed in eye socket and exsanguinated at the bottom of a staircase.
The news is clear.
Here in the UK, in 2018, the life of a woman is worth just 3 years and 8 months (just half to be served as a custodial sentence).
I ask you to please refer this case to the Court of Appeal. I would ask that you consider a charge of murder for the death of this young woman & mother.
I have copied my MP into this letter & I look forward to your reply.
The Office of the Attorney General says it is now reviewing the case. We will need to keep up the pressure to make sure justice is done.
You can write to the Attorney General at the following address
The Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC, 5-8 The Sanctuary, London SW1P 3JS
We will be watching developments very carefully.
21st December 2018