A SO called ‘rough sex defence’ which allowed killers of women to face lesser charges in court is being changed in new domestic violence bill.

The phrase “it’s only a domestic” will be consigned to history, the Justice Secretary said, as the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill cleared its latest Commons hurdle.

Labour’s shadow Home Office minister Jess Phillips said the passage of the Bill through the Commons showed victims “we can hear them”.

The Bill - which now passes to the House of Lords - seeks to give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins outlined moves to stop the use of the so-called “rough sex defence”, which she told MPs is mainly used by men.

This follows a long-running campaign to stop abusers who kill their partners from claiming their victims were a willing participant in a sex game gone wrong in a bid to reduce murder charges to manslaughter or get a less severe sentence.

Ms Atkins told the Commons: “We’ve been clear that there is no such defence to serious harm which results from rough sex.

“But there is a perception that such a defence exists and that it is being used by men, and it is mostly men in these types of cases, to avoid convictions for serious offences or to receive a reduction in any sentence where they are convicted.”

Natalie Connolly, 26, from Worcestershire, died on December 17, 2016, at the hands of John Broadhurst from Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, at the couple’s then home in Kinver.

The young mum, who called Broadhurst ‘The Boss’, was found lying in a pool of blood with more than 40 injuries.

Natalie had also suffered horrific internal injuries inflicted during sex.

The multi-millionaire businessman was initially charged with murder but he claimed he had only hurt her “within the boundaries of her masochistic desires.”

Part-way through his trial Broadhurst admitted manslaughter on the basis of gross negligence and he was cleared of murder and GBH.

He was jailed for just three years and eight months.

A second woman who was living in a Worcester women’s refuge with her two children was also killed by a man who claimed it was “rough sex gone wrong.”

Charlotte Teeling’s body was discovered naked, apart from a stocking, in the bed at Richard Bailey’s flat in Kingstanding, Birmingham, on March 2 2018, after she had been reported missing.

Prosecutors said that unemployed Bailey claimed Miss Teeling died after “rough sex”, and that he alleged Miss Teeling had wanted to be choked.

Bailey was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court.

Ruling that the murder involved “sexual or sadistic” conduct, Judge Thomas told Bailey: “You told the police that Charlotte asked you to squeeze her neck.

“Even if that were the case - and I do not accept that it was - it is manifest that she did not consent to being injured, let alone killed.

“I find that you were applying force to Charlotte’s neck for your own satisfaction - and that you covered her mouth to prevent her crying out.”

The Domestic Abuse Bill moved closer to becoming law on Monday July 6, after receiving an unopposed third reading to clear the Commons.

The Bill also states, children who see, hear or experience the effects of domestic abuse will be treated as victims under law.

It will undergo further scrutiny in the House of Lords at a later date.