Couple who murdered woman and dumped her body in a bin are found guilty

A couple have been found guilty of murder after they killed a homeless woman, dumped her body in a bin and claimed her benefits.

Lisa Bennett disappeared shortly after her 39th birthday in May 2013. Her body was never recovered after it was incinerated at a community waste facility.

The court heard how Kathleen Salmond and Kevin Flanagan killed Bennett at their flat at Weoley Castle in Birmingham before dumping her body in a communal bin.

“The callousness and cruelty of their actions was breath-taking. They purported to be Lisa’s friends, but killed her and left her in a wheelie bin.

David Parsons, CPS

The court heard Flanagan confessed to his brother that they drowned Lisa in the bath, dumped her in a bin and proceeded to claim her benefits of £230.00 by lying to the Department for Work and Pensions.

In an attempt to cover their crime, the accused used Bennetts mobile to send messages to her mother to make her believe she was still alive.

Her mother was not convinced and the missing persons inquiry soon turned into a murder investigation.

The nature of Bennett's death means she has no final resting place where her family can grieve.

Police say it's taken a long time to resolve the case because of medical issues with the defendants and the painstaking tracing of mobile calls.

They say they hope that now, after six years since she disappeared, they have some sense of closure.

Kathleen Salmond (left) and Kevin Flanagan (right) have been found guilty of murder Lisa Bennett. Credit: West Midlands Police

Police have released a recording of the call that Kathleen Salmond made to the DWP in a bid to steal Lisa Bennett's benefits.