Wife, daughter guilty of killing bookie

April 4, 2012 at 12:47 AM
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LONDON, April 4 (UPI) -- A missing English bookmaker's wife was convicted Tuesday of killing him more than a decade ago with help from the couple's daughter.

Shirley Banfield, 64, and Lynette Banfield, 40, were both sentenced to life in prison, The Guardian reported. Shirley Banfield must serve at least 18 years and her daughter 16.

Don Banfield, 64, vanished in 2001. He had just signed a contract for the sale of his house in the London district of Wealdstone, and a prosecutor told jurors in the Old Bailey he "signed his own death warrant."

Crispin Aylett, the prosecuting lawyer, said Shirley Banfield knew her husband was planning to leave her, taking his pension with him. Instead, the two women took money out of Don Banfield's pension account and his share of the proceeds of the sale of the house.

"She was 54, and on the verge of being abandoned without money to rehouse both herself and Lynette," Aylett said.

Police considered Don Banfield a missing person until 2009 when a suspicious former employee convinced investigators to begin a murder inquiry. They found no evidence he was still alive in Britain, in his native Trinidad or in New York.

Kay Hackett, Don Banfield's sister, asked his wife to give up the location of the body.

"Most painful is not knowing how he died or where his remains may be," Hackett said.

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