No5 counsel act for the defence as couple face murder charges

Thu, 14 Nov 2019

Two counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers are acting for the defence in a murder trial in which a couple are accused of killing a homeless woman so that they could claim her benefits.

John Butterfield QC and Simon Hunka are acting for Kathleen Salmond, 40, of Farnhurst Road, Hodge Hill.

Salmond and her boyfriend Kevin Flanagan, 39, of Redbrook Covert, Kings Norton, are accused of murdering Lisa Bennett at a flat in Birmingham. They both deny murder.

Salmond, who appeared by video link as she is largely confined to a bed or wheelchair, also denies benefit fraud between May 8 and 31 2013, and preventing Miss Bennett's burial - charges which Flanagan has previously admitted.

The body of Lisa Bennett has never been recovered. It is alleged that the couple dumped her body in a bin and it was incinerated at a community waste facility. She disappeared shortly after her 39th birthday in May 2013.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that the defendants fraudulently claimed her benefits and spent the cash after Salmond allegedly phoned the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), pretending to be Miss Bennett.

Flanagan allegedly used Miss Bennett's phone to text her mother to reassure her that she was okay.

The court heard how Ms Bennett disappeared after she collected a prescription from a Selly Oak pharmacy on May 9, 2013.

The trial continues.

To read more about the case, visit: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7680947/Couple-murdered-woman-dumped-body-bin-claiming-benefits.html

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