Ian Bennett, 38, murdered Kerry Woolley, also 38, at her home in Solihull, West Mids, in July last year and enlisted the help of his mum Lynda Bennett to cover it up
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A thug who stabbed his girlfriend 54 times and tried to suffocate her has been jailed for life.
Ian Bennett, 38, murdered Kerry Woolley, also 38, at her home in Solihull, West Mids, in July last year after wrongly accusing her of a lesbian affair.
His mother Lynda Bennett, 63, who tried to help cover up the grisly crime, was found guilty of assisting an offender and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice.
Bennett was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years and his mum was jailed for three years today at Birmingham Crown Court.
Bennett, who was described in court as obsessive and controlling, accused the mum-of-two of cheating on him with another woman they met in a wine bar.
He used two knives to launch the horrific attack.
Bennett had only been seeing Kerry for a few weeks at that stage, the court heard.
Bennett then convinced his mum to help him throw the police off the investigation into him.
The pair, both from Solihull, denied their actions but a jury found them guilty in less than two hours.
Police were able to pin Bennett after they seized his mum’s dash-cam footage which showed him disposing of potential evidence, including throwing a knife into a canal.
Sentencing, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “[Ian] Bennett you have been convicted on overwhelming evidence.
“Ms Woolley had difficulties in her life but still had much of it before her. She leaves behind a grieving family.”
He continued: “You used serious physical violence on her. You also strangled her. You smothered her with your right hand.
“You inflicted 54 separate injuries with those knives.
“The violence was on any view extreme. When you used the knives Kerry was still conscious.
“This was obviously a sustained attack. Kerry must have been wholly terrified before she suffered the fatal injuries.”
The judge also branded Bennett an “extremely dangerous” man
He added: “An experienced pathologist said it was one of the most horrific murders he had seen.
“Kerry was very vulnerable, drunk and physically weak. You had a calculated plan as to how you would get away with it.
“Your calculated actions I am sure are not consistent with some sudden loss of temper.
“I am sure there was a degree of premeditation. You have brought your own mother into the dock. You have never expressed a word of remorse.”
Addressing Lynda Bennett, Judge Inman described the lengths she went for her son.
He said: “The actions you took had a profound effect on the administration of justice. You washed his clothing.
“Your actions were taken in the middle of the night and the following morning and later in the day lying to the police.
“It was mere good fortune that your car had CCTV which revealed what you had done.
“It is clear you have no remorse whatsoever. I accept you had misguided but genuine love for your son.
“You are a mature woman who has never been in trouble before.”
Det Sgt Rory Jus, of West Midlands Police, said: “Ian Bennett unleashed a vicious and brutal attack on Kerry Woolley, a woman he had only been in a relationship with for a matter of a few short weeks.
“He then chose to blatantly lie about what had happened but quickly became unstuck as the evidence mounted up against him.
“In particular the dashcam from his mother’s car showed how he’d enlisted her help as he disposed of the items that would ultimately tie him to his crime.”
“Neither Ian Bennett nor his mother Lynda have once shown any remorse for their part in this terrible crime and it was pleasing to see that the evidence we were able to put before the jury enabled them to see through their lies.
“Our thoughts have always been with Kerry’s family, and we hope that Bennett’s conviction, and also that of his mother, can now bring them some comfort.”