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A businessman Warren Martin Coulton was jailed for six years today for the death of his five-year-old partner Claire Wright after a drug and drink bondage session in a resort town.
Warren Martin Coulton Age
Warren Martin Coulton, 52, of Baildon, West Yorkshire, tied Claire Wright, 38, during a bondage game at a luxury lodge near Caerwys in Flintshire, North Wales.
He fell asleep while she was being held at Herons Lake Retreat and she was suffocating. Coulton found her dead when he woke up, but fled the scene.
Mold Crown Court heard that Coulton, a manager at a window and office cleaning company, had put a pink sock in his mouth and possibly taped it off.
Claire Wright body was found in a bed
Ms. Wright’s body was found in a bed by staff at the retreat on July 16, 2018 – and the mother of two was later found to have died of asphyxiation.
Her 15-year-old daughter told the court how she expected to survive her “bubbly” mother, adding, “My childhood is forever ruined.”
Prosecutors said Coulton had committed a breach of his duty of care vis-à-vis his partner that was so “exceptionally bad” that he deserved a “criminal sanction”.
Prosecutor Caroline Rees QC said the couple brought what Coulton called “toys” – including ties, red tape, white tape and gloves – to the resort for bondage sessions.
She said Coulton was the “dominant” partner. Today a jury found Coulton guilty of manslaughter for gross negligence on the part of Ms. Wright.
It took the jury of seven men and five women less than two hours to return their verdict after a seven-day trial.
The relatives in the public gallery on the first floor were pleased when the jury foreman made their decision.
The judge, Judge Simon Picken, sentenced Coulton to six years in prison.
The judge noted that there was a sock in the victim’s mouth during the fatal incident, but there was doubt that her mouth had been taped.
“Anyway, you were negligent and rude,” he added. “You made up your mind to drink too much and use drugs. They didn’t have to do these things (but they had disastrous results).
The judge also said Coulton was aware that there was a risk of falling asleep after drinking while the victim was tied up during the bondage session, but he took that risk anyway.
Adam Kane QC, who defended himself, found that the partners were engaged in consensual activity at the time of the crime.
He added, “There is no doubt that these tragic circumstances were undesirable and that the outcome was not sought by this defendant.”
Coulton denied that he rammed the pink sock into her mouth and glued it in place, claiming her hands were loosely cuffed behind her back.
He is said to have gotten into bondage for the first time in his twenties and enjoyed seeing partners gagged and women fighting when it was consensual.
After the sentencing, the judge thanked the jury after the seven-day trial. He told them, “Joining a jury is a very important public function.
“You may think, like I think, that being on a jury in a case of this seriousness is an even more important function. So, on behalf of the system, thank you for doing what you did. ‘
Detective Constable Lee Harshey-Jones said, “This was a tragic and unnecessary death for a woman who was described by her friends and family as a loving and caring mother
It was Coulton’s responsibility to look after Claire’s well-being, and he failed to do so with tragic consequences. It was Coulton’s failure and lack of care for Claire that ultimately led to her untimely death.
Today the court recognized this failure and he was convicted of guilty of gross negligence of manslaughter. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to all of Claire’s family and friends.
“Incidents like this are very rare in North Wales. Today’s verdict shows that we will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice. ‘