20:45 GMT +313 November 2019
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    This image released by Universal Pictures shows Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, left, and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker.

    MP Calls for Changes to Stop Men From Using ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Defence’ to Avoid Murder Sentence

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    According to Labour lawmaker Harriet Harman, men can avoid a murder conviction by claiming that their victim had agreed to a violent sex game and, thus, get charged with a reduced manslaughter sentence. Debates were fuelled by the case of multi-millionaire John Broadhurst, who was jailed for 4 years for killing his girlfriend during "rough sex”.

    Labour MP Harriet Harman has urged fellow legislators to block killers’ attempts to dodge murder sentences by claiming their victims had expired during rough sex, echoing a plot from the best-selling Shades of Grey novels about an affair between a millionaire and a student. She advocated the introduction of tougher domestic abuse legislation during the debates in the House of Commons, The Sun reports.

    According to the lawmaker, men who were charged with manslaughter were blaming victims for provoking them. But a new loop is said “to have reared its ugly head” as murderr suspects “are now literally getting away with murder by using the rough sex defence,” she insisted. The lawmaker argued that this trick allows abusers to go free after a few years in jail instead of spending their life in prison.

    “He claims it was a ‘sex game gone wrong’. She, of course, is not there to say otherwise. In the witness box, he gives lurid, unchallengeable accounts of her addiction to violent sex, and explains the bruises that cover her body were what she wanted. This is what I describe as the Fifty Shades of Grey defence,” she told fellow MPs.

    Notably, former Prime Minister Theresa May also had a word in the debate on domestic violence during her first Commons appearance since she resigned. According to the former leader of the Conservatives, who urged lawmakers to support the new legislation, some young women are so used to being abused that they do not perceive it as something wrong.

    It has not been the first time that Harriet Harman has lambasted what she described as the "50 Shades of Grey defence”. She used the eye-catching reference when she commented on the murder case against multi-millionaire John Broadhurst, which made headlines last year.

    Although the man was initially charged with murdering his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly, the charge was changed to manslaughter afer he claimed that she had been injured during consensual "rough sex" against the backdrop of using alcohol and drugs and that he had only hurt her “within the boundaries of her masochistic desires”. He was eventually sentenced to less than four years, although the lawmaker asked the attorney general to look into his sentencing to find out if it was too "lenient".

    Related:

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    Domestic Abuse: 'What We've Seen is Quite a Big Increase to the Figures' - Prof.
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    House of Commons, domestic violence, manslaughter, legislation, trial, murder, Fifty Shades of Grey, UK
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