A 52-year-old businessman who fell asleep during sex with his bound and gagged partner at a holiday lodge before she suffocated on a sock in her mouth was found guilty of her manslaughter yesterday.

A court heard that Warren Coulton, of Buck Lane, Baildon, left 38-year-old Claire Wright’s naked body covered with a duvet in their lodge at Herons Lake Retreat holiday park at Caerwys, Flintshire, Wales, in July 2018, and drove off.

He had denied manslaughter through gross negligence. He was jailed for six years at Mold Crown Court.

Prosecuting QC Caroline Rees said he owed his girlfriend a duty of care.

“He exposed her to an obvious and serious risk of death and asphyxiation,” she said.

The barrister said Coulton was a “coward and hasn’t got the courage to admit what he knows he’s done.”

A jury heard during their bondage romps, under the influence of drink and drugs, he fell asleep.

The prosecutor said Coulton had then tried to “manipulate the evidence” by deleting a recording of himself making a “confession” in his car.

“Cold-hearted” Coulton’s first reaction had been to think of himself.

A member of staff had made the grim discovery at the holiday park.

The court heard they had been in a relationship for five-and-a-half years and the mum had worked for Coulton in a cafe.

In July 2018 he turned 50 and Miss Wright made plans for a surprise.

The defendant claimed they had sex three times and his last memory was of his partner on top of him. He denied that he had rammed the pink sock in her mouth and taped it in, and maintained her hands were tied loosely behind her back.

Adam Kane QC, defending, said Coulton, who had a window and office cleaning business, claimed he thought she would be able to spit out the sock and it was a “tragic accident.”

Coulton first got into bondage in his 20s and enjoyed partners being gagged and women struggling, if it were consensual.

The jury took just two hours to find him guilty of the offence. He had a previous conviction as a youth for causing death by reckless driving.

Mr Justice Picken told Coulton that Miss Wright was “vivacious and much-loved’ and family spoke about her in “heartbreaking” terms.

Coulton knew drinking too much would cause him to fall asleep. “You ignored previous warnings in the shape of the previous incident when you fell asleep,” the judge added.

Police have welcomed the guilty verdict.