United Kingdom

Ex-boyfriend and his mother charged over murder of woman, 38

An ex-boyfriend charged with murdering his 'bubbly' former partner has been pictured for the first time - along with his dinner lady mother accused of helping him dispose of evidence. 

Kerry Woolley, 38, was found dead in her flat in Solihull, West Midlands, with a knife wound to her neck on Sunday.

Her ex-boyfriend Ian Bennett, 37, and his mother Lynda Bennett, 62, today appeared in court over the death. 

Ian was charged with her murder, while mother-of-two Lynda was charged with perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.

The pair, both of Solihull, appeared in separate videolink hearings before magistrates in Birmingham.

Ian, dressed in a grey t-shirt, spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth, during a brief two-minute hearing.

Pictured: Ian Bennett, 37, and his mother Lynda Bennett, 62, who today appeared in court following the death of Kerry Woolley

Kerry Woolley was discovered with fatal injuries to her neck at her Solihull flat at about 3.20pm on Sunday, July 12

His case was sent to be dealt with at Birmingham Crown Court.

Lynda, who was wearing a face mask, also spoke only to confirm her particulars.

She listened on as a charge sheet detailed how she allegedly helped her son dispose of evidence and then made a false statement to police.

She was granted conditional bail ahead of a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court on August 13.

Ms Woolley's devastated parents Steven and Lynda watched on in the public gallery, with sister Lisa and other members of the family.

She leaves behind a son, 12, and daughter, nine.

Ms Woolley was described as a 'beautiful soul' and 'warm personality' in the wake of the tragedy.

One friend took to Facebook to pay her respects and said: 'You will be heavily missed by all who knew you, worked with you and was lucky enough to be called a friend.

Ian, pictured, was charged with her murder, while mother-of-two Lynda was charged with perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender

'Please find peace! My thoughts are with your family and friends and beautiful children. I will always remember your laugh and smile.'

Police and paramedics discovered Ms Woolley's prone body in the ground floor flat in Westley Heights, Warwick Road, on Sunday afternoon.

A post-mortem revealed she died from a 'serious neck injury'.

Neighbours paid tribute to Ms Woolley and described her death as 'absolutely shocking'.

One said: 'They only moved in a few months ago.

'She was a lovely lady - always smiling. She would take the kids to the McDonald's over the road. It was clear she doted on them.

'I think she had a couple of dogs as well. You'd see her out walking.'

Police yesterday closed off parkland and searched a canal for the weapon used to kill Ms Woolley.

A forensics investigator was later pictured carrying a knife sealed in an evidence tube.

Pictured: Officers attending the scene after the body of Ms Woolley was found in Solihull on Sunday 

Searches continued today at the Bennett household.

An onlooker said: 'It looked like they found something of significance quite quickly.

'The search team went in and started hacking away at undergrowth and shouted over to forensics, who put their white suits and masks on.

'I could see they had evidence bags and had started putting evidence markers down.'

Following Ms Woolley's death, her grieving family released a short statement through West Midlands Police.

Friends and family members changed their Facebook profile pictures to lit candles in her memory.

The statement read: 'As a family this has devastated us. We would like to thank everyone for their support.'

Detective Inspector Nick Barnes from the force CID team, added: 'My thoughts remain with Kerry's family who are devastated by their loss.

'Our investigations are continuing and I'd urge anyone who may have any information to contact us as soon as possible.'

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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