Man jailed for murder of girlfriend he stabbed 55 times before asking mum to cover it up

·Freelance Writer
·3 min read
Ian Bennett murdered his girlfriend while mum Lynda Bennett (right) helped cover it up. (Reach)
Ian Bennett murdered his girlfriend while mum Lynda Bennett (right) helped cover it up. (Reach)

A man who stabbed his girlfriend to death before asking his mum to help cover up the killing has been jailed for life.

Ian Bennett must serve a minimum of 25 years for stabbing mum-of-two Kerry Woolley, 38, a total of 55 times with two knives after falsely accusing her of cheating on him.

Ms Woolley was found dead at her home in Westley Heights on Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull, on 12 July 2020.

She was stabbed after Bennett, described in court as acting in a "paranoid, obsessive and controlling way", had accused her of sleeping with a woman they met at a Solihull wine bar.

Caroline Goodwin QC, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court that Bennett would not let the matter go and they had an argument during which he threw her phone at the TV.

She said the attack on the victim was "brutal and deliberate" with the majority of the injuries inflicted on her neck area.

Mum-of-two Kerry Woolley was stabbed 55 times with two knives. (Reach)
Kerry Woolley was stabbed 55 times with two knives. (Reach)

She said there was evidence of defensive injuries and Bennett had also tried to suffocate Ms Woolley.

Afterwards, she said, he bought himself time and played the part of the hard-done boyfriend who had found his girlfriend dead.

"He sought to duck and dive, misleading the police. Too cowardly to accept what he had done." said Goodwin.

Bennett also convinced mum Lynda Bennett, 63, to help him cover up his crime.

She was found guilty of assisting an offender and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice.

Passing sentence, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said neither of the Bennetts, both of Moordown Avenue, Solihull, had shown any remorse.

The judge added: “You are an extremely dangerous man. An experienced pathologist said in his evidence that it was one of the most horrific murders he had seen.

“Having killed her, you had a calculated plan as to how you were going to get away with it. You had but hours before expressed satisfaction that Kerry was terrified.

“In the absence of any explanation whatsoever from you, I am quite sure that there was a degree of premeditation in your decision to kill her that night.”

Following the murder, Ian Bennett tried to burn some clothing and had gone out in a car, driven by his mother, on a Sunday morning and dumped items from the flat including a knife which he threw into a canal.

Kerry Woolley was found dead at her home in Westley Heights on Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull, on 12 July, 2020. (Reach)
Kerry Woolley was found dead at her home in Westley Heights on Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull, on 12 July 2020. (Reach)

The police found out about the ruse because it was captured on dashcam footage accidentally recorded by Lynda Bennett.

Ian Bennett did not give evidence during the trial but had claimed to police that, during an argument, Ms Woolley had been aggressive and had a knife and that afterwards he had no memory of what happened because he had blacked out.

Lynda Bennett told the jury she was not aware of her son dumping items or that he had harmed Ms Woolley.

The judge said Bennett had “brought his mother into the dock” during his efforts to avoid justice.

He told Lynda Bennett: “Your actions were taken in the middle of the night, the following morning… then taking Ian Bennett to the flat for him to stage his apparent discovery of the body, and then lying to the police in order to conceal the truth.

“It was mere good fortune that your car had CCTV which revealed what you had done. It is clear that you have no remorse whatsoever.”

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