A woman allegedly murdered at sea on her honeymoon was scared of her husband and ‘afraid to get home’, text messages have revealed.
Isabella Hellman went missing in a catamaran off the coast of Cuba in May last year while her husband Lewis Bennett, of Poole, Dorset, was rescued in a life raft.
Bennett, a British-Australian sailor, was charged with murder in the United States where the FBI accuses him of sinking the 37-foot vessel in a bid to inherit his wife’s estate.
In texts sent to her husband Ms Hellman said she ‘found an angry person’ when she came home and told Bennett he did not ‘respect her any more’, The Times reports.
Isabella Hellman (right) went missing off the coast of Cuba in May last year while her husband Lewis Bennett (left), of Poole, Dorset, was rescued in a life raft
One of the texts, included in court documents, said: ‘Sometimes I can be a pain in the a** and more but you need to change your attitude… you make me crazy shouting, yelling, swearing… YOU ARE PUSHING ME AWAY.’
‘This morning I was afraid to get home with the coffee but I walked in and I was right, I found an angry person, this is very sad.’
Another, months before Ms Hellman’s disappearance, said: ‘If you don’t like me or love me anymore let us fix this asap because is very pathetic the way you treated me all the time.’
The messages reportedly reveal that Colombian-born Ms Hellman noticed a change in her husband’s behaviour after the birth of their child, Emelia, in 2016.
Bennett is said to have thought the baby had come at the ‘wrong time’ and was ‘super angry’ about the spelling of the child’s name.
Prosecutors claim the couple’s ‘marital strife’ was a motive for the alleged murder.
‘Hellman’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 Hellman’s estate,’ a prosecutor said.
If Ms Hellman is presumed dead – as her body has never been found – he would inherit her condo and the contents of her bank account.
The messages reportedly reveal that Colombian-born Ms Hellman (pictured) noticed a change in her husband’s behaviour after the birth of their child, Emelia, in 2016
Bennett, a British-Australian sailor, was charged with murder in the United States where the FBI accuses him of sinking the 37-foot catamaran (pictured) in a bid to inherit his wife’s estate
Prosecutors also allege she may have discovered he was in possession of the gold and silver coins stolen from his former employer in St Maarten, which could have made her an accomplice in the smuggling crime.
Earlier video footage was released of Bennett having a heated row with his partner’s family who were heard shouting: ‘You killed my sister’.
In the video Bennett attempts to retrieve his laptop and other items from the family’s house, with Emelia in the car, when he is confronted by Ms Hellman’s relatives.
Bennett was smuggling rare stolen coins worth $38,480 (£29,450) when he was rescued off the coast of Cuba and is serving a seven-month jail term after he admitted transporting them.
He made an SOS call in the early hours of May 15, 2017, saying the boat Surf Into Summer was sinking and his 41-year-old wife was missing.
He was airlifted alone from a life raft and said he had been awoken by a thud having left his wife in charge of the boat the night before. The search for Ms Hellman was called off three days later.
He is due to face trial for second-degree murder in December.