Brit sailor accused of murdering wife at sea
A sailor murdered his wife and deliberately sank their catamaran to inherit her estate and end their “marital strife”, prosecutors have alleged. Lewis Bennett, of Dorset, was smuggling rare stolen coins when he was rescued alone off the coast of Cuba without Isabella Hellmann, the mother of his child. Prosecutors in the US have for the first time extensively detailed what they believe to be Bennett’s motives, after the FBI charged him with murder. Court papers filed this week also revealed Ms Hellmann’s family bugged her Florida home to listen to Bennett’s conversations because they suspected him in her disappearance. The newlyweds were sailing towards their US home in May last year when Bennett made an SOS call saying the 41-year-old former estate agent was missing and the vessel was sinking. Prosecutor Benjamin Greenberg asked a Florida judge to admit into evidence conversations with loved ones where Ms Hellmann is said to have discussed rows over a mooted move to Australia, their dire finances and the raising of their daughter. Ms Hellmann’s body is yet to be found but she is presumed dead. Bennett is due to go on trail accused of second degree murder in December.
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