A “CRUEL” killer who murdered his girlfriend after subjecting her to a savage assault at the home they shared has been jailed for life.

Jonathan Campbell, 37, from Swansea, left his partner Helen Bannister with fatal brain injuries after he accused her of cheating on him.

The city’s crown court heard how he claimed she was having an affair before head-butting her and knocking her unconscious.

He then washed Ms Bannister, 48, who was unresponsive, and lay her on the sofa before he left the house.

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Campbell reported the attack and alerted the emergency services that she may need medical help before drinking in Swansea city centre with another woman.

Ms Bannister did not regain consciousness and died in hospital six days later.

Injuries recorded at the hospital 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.

South Wales Argus:

Helen Bannister. Picture: South Wales Police

Campbell will have to serve a minimum tariff of 18 years in jail.

After the defendant’s sentencing, Abul Hussain, a senior crown prosecutor in CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home and there’s no excuse for domestic violence.

“The strong case prepared and presented by the CPS resulted in a guilty plea to murder.

Our lives have been destroyed. It feels like a nightmare

“Although that will thankfully spare Helen’s family and friends having to go through the trial process, it’s little comfort when a life has been lost.

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“Helen’s life was cruelly snatched away from her, and her family and friends are firmly in our thoughts.”

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.

South Wales Argus:

Killer Jonathan Campbell

“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."

Ms Bannister’s family has also issued the following statement: “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.

“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.”