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Ian Bennett who stabbed partner 54 times before his mother helped him cover it up is jailed for life

A controlling boyfriend who stabbed his girlfriend 54 times with two knives after wrongly accusing her of cheating on him has today been jailed for life.

Ian Bennett launched a ferocious attack on mother-of-two Kerry Woolley and then roped his mother into a 'cowardly' plot to hide his sickening crime.

Bennett, 38, of Solihull, was found guilty of murdering 38-year-old Ms Woolley by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

His mother, Lynda Bennett, 63, also of Moordown Avenue, was found guilty of assisting an offender and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice.

The jury took less than an hour to reach their verdicts on the pair and were sentenced today.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC says the attack on Kerry Woolley was 'extreme' violence and that Ian Bennett carried out a 'sustained attack'.

He told Lynda she acted out of 'misguided but genuine love' for her son but that she failed to show remorse for her crime.

Ms Woolley, described as a 'beautiful soul' and 'warm personality' in the wake of the tragedy, was found dead at her home in Olton, Solihull, on July 12, last year.

Controlling boyfriend Ian Bennett stabbed his girlfriend Kerry Woolley (pictured)  54 times in the neck in a paranoid attack after wrongly accusing her of sleeping with another woman

The court heard Bennett (pictured) launched the attack at a home in Solihull in July last year

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, said the defendant 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.

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 Miss Goodwin.

Both Bennett (left) and his mother Lynda Bennett (right) were sentenced at court this morning

Pictured: Police on the scene where Kerry was found dead at a flat in Solihull last year

She said he had 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.

The court heard how a mistake by Lynda Bennett helped police to 'unlock' the case against her son.

Dashcam footage in her car seized by cops showed him getting rid of potential evidence linking him to the killing, including a knife he used to stab the victim, which he threw into a canal.

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. 

Ian Bennett was handed a life sentence and must serve a minimum of 25 years before he is considered for release.

Addressing Bennett in court, Judge Inman said he had 'savagely murdered her in a number of ways' before he attempted to cover up his crimes 'in a calm and calculated' way. 

His mother Lynda was handed three years in prison. 

Speaking after the conviction Det Sgt Rory Juss, 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.

Dashcam footage in Lynda's car showed Bennett (right) getting rid of evidence linking him to the killing, including a knife he used to stab the victim. Pictured: Ian and Lynda Bennett

'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.'