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Briton faces jail for smuggling stolen coins in voyage where his wife vanished

Lewis Bennett could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison when he appears in a Miami court on Tuesday.

A Briton who was rescued off the Cuban coast from a doomed trip that saw his wife mysteriously vanish is to be sentenced for smuggling stolen coins.

Lewis Bennett faces up to 10 years in prison when he appears in a federal court in Miami on Tuesday.

The gold and silver collectables were from a haul worth up to 100,000 dollars (£72,000) that he had reported as being stolen from an employer’s boat a year before the rescue.

Lewis Bennett was rescued alone

The FBI brought the charge as it investigated the disappearance of Isabella Hellmann, the mother of Bennett’s baby.

Bennett reported the 41-year-old missing in the early hours of May 15 in an SOS call as their 37ft catamaran was sinking as they sailed home from Havana.

The recovered coins were found in Bennett’s life raft and during a subsequent search of their home in Delray Beach, Florida. They were valued as being worth 38,480 dollars (£27,530) in May.

In November, the British-Australian dual citizen, then 40, admitted a charge of transporting stolen property.


From Belfast Telegraph