Prosecutor Benjamin Greenberg asked a Florida judge to admit into evidence conversations with loved ones where Ms Hellmann is said to have discussed rows over a mooted move to Australia, their dire finances and the raising of their daughter.He argued they show the pair were “consistently” rowing, adding: “With potentially one of the arguments ultimately resulting in the murder of Hellmann.” Handout photo issued by Broward Sheriff’s Office of Lewis BennettCredit:Broward’s Sheriff’s Office /PA A British-Australian sailor murdered his new wife at sea and deliberately sank their catamaran in order to inherit her estate and end their “marital strife”, prosecutors have alleged.Lewis Bennett, of Poole, Dorset, was smuggling rare stolen coins when he was rescued alone off the coast of Cuba without Isabella Hellmann, the mother of his child, last May.Prosecutors in the US have now detailed what they believe to be Bennett’s motives, after the FBI charged him with murder.Court papers filed this week also revealed Ms Hellmann’s family bugged her apartment in Delray Beach, Florida, to listen to Bennett’s conversations because they suspected him in her disappearance.The newlyweds were sailing towards Florida in May last year when Bennett made an SOS call saying Hellman, a 41-year-old former estate agent, was missing and the vessel was sinking. “Hellmann’s murder would remove the marital strife from the defendant’s life, allow the defendant to live his life as he pleased, and would enable him to inherit money from Hellmann’s estate, all of which provide strong circumstantial proof that the defendant had a strong motive to murder Hellmann,” he continued.If Colombian-born Ms Hellmann is presumed dead – as Bennett, 41, has requested – he would inherit her home and the contents of her bank account. Bennett is currently serving a seven-month jail term in Miami’s Federal Detention Center after admitting transporting the coins worth 38,480 dollars (£29,450).Prosecutors alleged Hellmann may have discovered her husband of three months was in possession of gold and silver coins stolen from his former employer in St Maarten, which could have made her an accomplice to smuggling.Mr Greenberg wrote that this “potentially led to an intense argument resulting in Hellmann’s murder”.The FBI accused the British-Australian of intentionally scuttling the 37ft vessel.Ms Hellmann’s body is yet to be found.Bennett is due to go on trail for second degree murder in December. The couple’s catamaran the Surf Into Summer sank last MayCredit:US Coast Guard/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Sailor killed wife and sank catamaran to inherit estate and end marital