Tees

Probe into how Redcar domestic abuser murdered women

Alan Bennett Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Alan Bennett admitted murdering the women in two attacks only minutes apart

An independent inquiry is to be carried out into how a man with a history of domestic abuse was able to murder his girlfriend and ex-partner.

Alan Bennett, who was jailed for 32 years on Thursday, had been violent to his victims and was barred from having unsupervised contact with his children.

The 34-year-old killed Lynne Freeman, 46, before stabbing Jodie Betteridge 132 times in Redcar on 23 March.

Det Sgt Peter Carr said: "A domestic homicide review is to take place."

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He added: "That's going to be done by Redcar and Cleveland Community Safety Partnership, the police will be involved in that process, and rightly so it sits away from the investigation."

Bennett and Ms Freeman had been out drinking together in several pubs in Redcar town centre on the day of the attacks.

Witnesses reported them arguing on the bus home, with Bennett raising his voice several times.

Image copyright Family photographs
Image caption Lynne Freeman, left, and Jodie Betteridge died within minutes of each other

Bennett was heard telling Ms Freeman: "Wait until I get you home, I'll get your attention."

At about 20:45, Bennett called the police to Ms Freeman's home on Mapleton Crescent where they found her with 13 stab wounds to her neck and chest.

Seven minutes later, Ms Betteridge, 30, who had been in a relationship with Bennett from 2005 to 2014, was attacked at her home on Byland Close, first inside the house then in the garden.

Bennett was arrested at the scene and told police: "I have done what had to be done."

Image caption Alan Bennett killed Lynne Freeman at her home in Mapleton Crescent before murdering Jodie Betteridge on a grass area at Byland Close seven minutes later

Cleveland Police said domestic incidents involving Bennett and both women had previously been reported.

After the sentencing, Det Sgt Carr said: "Without doubt Bennett acted in cold blood as he attacked both Lynne and Jodie, his phone call to police as he walked away from the fatal attack on Lynne is particularly chilling and detached.

"Emergency services arrived to a scene of unprecedented horror."

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