‘Bully’ brutally stabbed partner before mother helped dump evidence, jury told

·4-min read
Ian Bennett is alleged to have murdered Kerry Woolley in July last year (West Midlands Police/PA)
Ian Bennett is alleged to have murdered Kerry Woolley in July last year (West Midlands Police/PA)

A “bully” boyfriend brutally and deliberately stabbed his partner in the neck, delivering more than 50 wounds, before he was caught on his own mother’s dashcam footage dumping evidence, a murder trial has heard.

Kerry Woolley, a 38-year-old mother of two young children, was found dead with “catastrophic” injuries in the bedroom of her flat off Warwick Road in Solihull West Midlands on July 12 last year.

Birmingham Crown Court was told her 38-year-old boyfriend Ian Bennett had researched the “best way to get revenge on a woman” before the alleged killing – with the Crown saying he was “jealous and possessive”.

The prosecution told jurors dashcam footage recovered from his mother, Lynda Bennett’s car, showed him throwing a plastic bag in a canal, which the Crown argue was a large knife.

The court was also told Ian Bennett’s 999 call was a “pre-planned… web of deceit”, as he told officers he did not want to touch anything because “it’s obviously a crime scene”.

Kerry Woolley was found dead in her flat in Solihull on July 12 last year (West Midlands Police/PA)
Kerry Woolley was found dead in her flat in Solihull on July 12 last year (West Midlands Police/PA)

Bennett has been charged with a single count of murder. His 63-year-old mother has been charged with assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice, after allegedly making a false witness statement.

Opening the case against the Bennetts on Tuesday, Caroline Goodwin QC told jurors: “The call that had been placed to the 999 emergency services was made by Ian Bennett, Kerry’s boyfriend, who had been standing outside the flat when he made the call.

The Crown say that that call was nothing other than a pre-planned call, hours after he already knew that she was in fact dead.

“He had been a guest in her home the night before, they had only been going out for a month or so and he, say the Crown, on that Saturday night/Sunday morning, attacked her.

“It was a deliberate attack to kill her or cause grievous bodily harm. It was brutal and deliberate.”

Ms Goodwin continued: “The injuries to Kerry Woolley were significant in nature and number.

It was a deliberate attack to kill her or cause grievous bodily harm

Prosecutor Caroline Goodwin QC

“She sustained 54 sharp-force injuries, the majority in her neck area.

“This was violence delivered by Ian Bennett and was done not just with one knife but with two.

“She had few defensive injuries, but that which were delivered to her ended her life. They were catastrophic.”

Speaking about the behaviour of the alleged killer, Ms Goodwin said: “He sought to duck and dive and mislead the police.

“He lied in that first call to the authorities and that marked the first of a series of lies that he was to tell as to the death of his girlfriend Kerry Woolley over the next few days and, we say, months to come, too cowardly to accept what he had done.

“The Crown say he is still lying now.”

The prosecution said Ian Bennett attempted to “cover up” what he had done, before adding: “The destruction of that evidence was done with the willing assistance of his mother, Lynda Bennett.

“She was to become a willing participant in the disposal of that evidence, which so obviously tied her son to this offence, forever trying to eliminate evidence that would have assisted the police in the investigation of this crime.

“(Lynda’s) car… is seen to stop adjacent to a canal bridge and the defendant Ian Bennett can be seen throwing something wrapped in a plastic bag into the canal.

“The Crown says this was evidence from the scene – a knife was in fact recovered from that location and was subsequently forensically connected to Kerry.”

Speaking about the 999 call made by Ian Bennett, Ms Goodwin said: “This was no call out of genuine concern, it was all part of a contrived masquerade designed to mislead.

“He was to lie not only to the police, but he lied to her sister, her friends, all with an aim of manipulating the situation – he was the hard-done boyfriend who had found his girlfriend dead.

“Not a word of truth passed his lips about what had happened between himself and Miss Woolley.”

The Bennetts, both of Moordown Avenue, Solihull, deny all charges.

The trial continues.

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