Ex-boyfriend, 37, appears in court charged with ‘throat slash’ murder of mum-of-two, 38, found dead in flat


AN EX-BOYFRIEND has appeared in court charged with the brutal murder of a mum-of-two in her own home.

Kerry Woolley, 38, was found dead in her apartment in Solihull, West Midlands, on Sunday.

It is understood the "bubbly, kind and warm" insurance worker died from a fatal cut to her neck.

West Midlands Police charged Ian Bennett, 37, with her murder.

Bennett, from Solihull, is appearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court today.

His dinner lady mum, Lynda Bennett, 62, also from Solihull, has been charged with perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.


Mr Bennett, dressed in a grey t-shirt, spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth, during a brief two-minute hearing.

His case was sent to be dealt with at Birmingham Crown Court, where he will appear on Friday or Monday.

Ms Bennett, who was wearing a face mask, also spoke only to confirm her particulars.

She listened as a charge sheet detailed how she allegedly helped her son dispose of evidence and then made a false statement to police.

JPs granted her conditional bail ahead of a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court on August 13.

Ms Woolley’s devastated parents Steven and Lynda watched on in the public gallery, with sister Lisa and other members of the family.

Officers had closed off the town's Prospect Park – around two miles from the murder scene at Westley Heights.

Teams conducted line searches for the weapon used to kill Ms Woolley, a claims team manager for Zurich Insurance.


A forensics investigator was later pictured carrying a blade sealed in an evidence tube.

An onlooker said: "It looked like they found something of significance quite quickly.

"The search team went in and started hacking away at undergrowth and shouted over to forensics, who put their white suits and masks on.

"I could see they had evidence bags and had started putting evidence markers down.

"I've got a feeling they found what they were looking for."

Police and paramedics discovered Ms Woolley's prone body in the ground floor flat on Sunday afternoon.

A post-mortem revealed she died from a "serious neck injury".

Neighbours paid tribute to Ms Woolley and said she lived with her son, 12, and daughter, nine.

One woman said: “It’s absolutely shocking. They only moved in a few months ago.

“She was a lovely lady – always smiling. She would take the kids to the McDonald’s over the road. It was clear she doted on them.

“I think she had a couple of dogs as well. You’d see her out walking.” Another added: “The police came on Sunday afternoon and you could tell it was serious straightaway.


“They cordoned off the entire area outside the apartments and they've put up a tent outside the front door.

“There have been police officers coming and going, as well as crime scene investigators.

“All the windows have been opened.

“I didn’t know what happened until I read that a woman had died. I don’t know who she is but it’s so sad.

“This is quite a nice area. You don’t expect this at all.”

Police were called to Westley Heights apartments in the affluent West Midlands town at around 3.30pm on Sunday.

Evidence markers could be seen surrounding a child’s ‘stay safe’ rainbow picture stuck to a glass door.


A blue police tent was erected in front of a door to protect evidence and people viewing inside the apartment.

Ms Woolley leaves behind a son, 12, and daughter, nine.

She was described as a 'beautiful soul' and 'warm personality' in the wake of the tragedy, as a bunch of sunflowers were laid at the scene.

One friend took to Facebook to pay her respects and said: "Kerry Woolley, you were a beautiful soul my darling.

"You will be heavily missed by all who knew you, worked with you and was lucky enough to be called a friend.

"Please find peace! My thoughts are with your family and friends and beautiful children. I will always remember your laugh and smile."

Kerry's grieving family released a short statement through West Midlands Police.

Friends and family members, including parents Steve and Lynda, changed their Facebook profile pictures to lit candles in her memory.

Detective Inspector Nick Barnes from the force CID team, added: "My thoughts remain with Kerry’s family who are devastated by their loss.

“Our investigations are continuing and I’d urge anyone who may have any information to contact us as soon as possible." The 37-year-old suspect remains in custody after detectives were granted more time to question him.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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