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Life in prison for Mayhill man who brutally murdered partner after subjecting her to years of domestic violence

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Jonathan Campbell, 37, from Mayhill, Swansea, was sentenced to life in prison at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (17 May) for the murder of Helen Bannister. He will serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Campbell, pleaded guilty to murder at Swansea Crown Court claiming he had “snapped” after accusing his partner of “cheating” on him.

The court heard Campbell had a history of violence, with three previous domestic abuse charges, including one against Ms Bannister in 2017.

Campbell was arrested by Police on 1 December last year after Ms Bannister was found at her home in Waun Wen “lying on her back on the sofa, unconscious and unresponsive” with significant injuries.

Police were told by Campbell that he had head-butted her twice, and then stripped her taking her to the bath to bring her round. Ms Banister never regained conciousness.

After carrying out the attack, Campbell called the emergency services, then left the property before they arrived to go drinking in Swansea City Centre with another woman.

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During a post-mortum, Ms Banister’s injuries in addition to the devastating brain injuries included a nasal fracture and fractured eye socket, two black eyes, multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung.

Helen Bannister (Image: South Wales Police)

After sentencing, Detective Inspector David Butt of South Wales Police’s Major Crime Investigations Team, said: “I welcome the sentence and am pleased that Jonathan Campbell is now serving a significant sentence for taking the life of his partner.

“Jonathan Campbell and Helen were in a relationship for six years, during which he subjected her to years of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse.

“I hope the sentence handed down to him today will provide a degree of comfort to Helen’s family, though I recognise that no amount of time in prison could ever properly compensate them for such a dreadful loss.

“I would like to thank Helen’s family and friends, especially her daughters Stacey and Sarah for their support, as well as the community of Waun Wen, Swansea. The help given to the investigation team has ensured this successful prosecution and conviction.

“South Wales Police is committed to tackling domestic abuse and I would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to report it to police. We recognise that not all victims of domestic abuse suffer physical injury. They suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having their life monitored and controlled.”

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Helen Bannister’s family issued a statement following Campbell’s conviction: “Our mother was murdered by her partner Johnathan Campbell on 1st December 2020.

“We will remember this day for the rest of our lives as it is the day that shattered our worlds.

“We have lost our Mum and she will now not be a part of our, and our families, lives as we all grow up together and she will miss so many milestones.

“Our Mum was young at heart, full of life and loved music. She was very much loved and will be missed by all her family and friends, especially by us, her grandchildren, mother, sister and brother.

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“Our lives have fallen apart. We are lost without her. Campbell has stolen our future with our mother.

“Her grandchildren will not have the opportunity to spend time with her as they grow older. They have lost her whilst they are at such young ages and it is so upsetting to know that they may not remember her.

“Our whole lives have changed and been destroyed. It feels like a horrible nightmare and doesn’t feel real.  What has happened will affect us for the rest of our lives.

“The sentence given to Campbell will never be enough and will not bring our mother back.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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