Woman Accused Of Murder Fails To Appear For Pre Trial Hearing

29 August 2019, 14:22 | Updated: 29 August 2019, 14:23

Birmingham Crown Court

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a woman accused of murder and fraudulently claiming her alleged victim's benefits.

A judge issued the bench warrant for Kathleen Salmond to be brought to Birmingham Crown Court, after she failed to answer bail for a pre-trial review hearing on Thursday.

Her co-defendant, 39-year-old Kevin Flanagan, pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing to a charge alleging that he murdered Lisa Bennett in the Weoley Castle area of Birmingham in 2013.

Flanagan has also denied preventing her lawful burial and fraudulently claiming her benefit payments.

Salmond, 40, of Farnhurst Road, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, has yet to enter any pleas to charges of murder, fraud and preventing burial.

The charges allege that the defendants killed Ms Bennett and "prevented the lawful and decent burial" of her body on or about May 9 2013.

The fraud charge alleges that they falsely represented to the Department for Work and Pensions that Salmond was Ms Bennett, and arranged for the transfer of state benefits into an account in Salmond's name between May 8 and 31 2013.

Ms Bennett, who was believed to be living in the Selly Oak area but was originally from Burton-on-Trent, was reported missing by her mother in May 2013.

Flanagan, of Redbrook Covert, Kings Norton, Birmingham, was granted conditional bail to appear at the same court for trial on November 5.