‘Boat man killed wife’

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Sam Blewett

A YACHTS­MAN who was res­cued by coast­guards is ac­cused of mur­der­ing his wife and scut­tling his boat to cover his tracks.

Lewis Ben­nett, of Poole, Dorset, was smug­gling rare stolen coins worth £29,450 when he sailed with Is­abella Hell­mann to Florida, where they had an­other home.

He was res­cued off Cuba last May but there was no sign of his wife. Ben­nett was charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der this week.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ben­jamin Green­berg asked a Florida judge to ad­mit into ev­i­dence talks with fam­ily where Ms Hell­mann, 41, dis­cussed rows over a move to Aus­tralia and fi­nances.

He said: “Hell­mann’s mur­der would re­move the mar­i­tal strife from the de­fen­dant’s life and en­able him to in­herit money from Hell­mann’s es­tate, all of which pro­vide strong cir­cum­stan­tial proof that he had a strong mo­tive to mur­der Hell­mann.”

Ben­nett got seven months for trans­port­ing the coins. His wife’s body is yet to be found and he goes on trial in De­cem­ber.

RE­TIRED hot dog seller Peter Par­sons, 81, is earn­ing a crust per­form­ing a singing Robin Hood act in Mans­field, Notts.

MO­TIVES: Lewis Ben­nett

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