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Couple jailed after murdering woman and dumping her body in a bin

Lisa Bennett went missing in May 2013. Credit: BPM Media

A couple have been jailed for life after killing a homeless woman before dumping her body in a bin and claiming her benefits.

Kevin Flanagan, 39 and his girlfriend Kathleen Salmond, 40, were convicted of the murder of Lisa Bennett at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday (December 11).

The 40-year-old was also convicted of of benefit fraud between May 8 and 31 2013 and preventing Bennett's burial - charges Flanagan previously admitted.

Bennett disappeared shortly after her 39th birthday in May 2013.

Her remains have never been recovered and it is thought the body was likely 'incinerated' at a waste facility.

A jury heard how the couple 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.

Kathleen Salmond (left) and Kevin Flanagan (right) have been jailed for the murder Lisa Bennett Credit: West Midlands Police

Their crime was uncovered when Flanagan's brother told police his sibling confessed about the pair's killing after he saw a missing persons appeal led by the victim's mother in 2014.

Appearing at Birmingham Crown Court today (Friday) Flanagan, of Kings Norton, Birmingham was sentenced to 32-years in prison.

While Salmond, of Hodge Hill, Birmingham was jailed for 27-years.

Flanagan will be 71 years and Salmond will be 67 years before they can be considered for release.

"They befriended Lisa Bennett and then callously cut her life short causing immeasurable pain for those who loved her.

"Lisa's parents were deprived of the opportunity to bury their daughter and say goodbye. "Today, they have received life sentences for their crimes and while this can never bring Lisa back, I hope today's sentencing brings some small comfort to Lisa's parents who have suffered immensely due to Flanagan and Salmond's cruelty."

– Crime Prosecution Service, David Parsons: