Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 12, 2003
Date of birth: 1956
Victim profile: Derek Bennett, 41 (his best friend)
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Grangetown, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on July 23, 2004

Phillip Heggarty (born 1956) is a British murderer.

In 2004, he was convicted of murdering his friend Derek Bennett (41) in a hammer attack in Cardiff in 2003. He had also stolen 3,000 from the victim.

Mr Bennett's was found dead in a stolen Renault Laguna in Cardiff. His body was so severely mutilated that it had to be identified by dental records.

Heggarty was sentenced to life imprisonment and on 23 February 2008 The Times revealed that Heggarty was one of around 50 prisoners who had been issued with whole life tariffs and were unlikely ever to be released from prison.


Life for best friend hammer murder

BBC News

Friday, 23 July, 2004

A man has been jailed for life for murdering his best friend in a hammer attack and stealing thousands of pounds from him.

Philip Heggarty, 49, then bundled Derek Bennett's body in a rug, put it into a car, and set fire to both in a Cardiff car park, a jury heard.

Sentencing Heggarty, the judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans described him as a "dangerous man".

"You are a resourceful and manipulative liar. This was a brutal and very violent killing."

The judge told Heggarty he was too dangerous ever to be allowed out.

Under new Home Office regulations, judges in murder trials now have to announce in open court the minimum sentence to be served behind bars for those jailed for "life."

Mr Justice Evans said the recommended starting point of 30 years for a crime like Heggarty's was "inadequate".

The court heard details of his history of violence.

His previous convictions include attempted murder and several violent robberies in which he targeted elderly people.

The trial at Swansea Crown Court had heard how the close friends had spent the evening together at a party after drinking in a city pub in April 2003.

CCTV footage showed the friends driving in convoy from the Cardiff International Arena car park - where Mr Bennett had earlier left his car - in the direction of Heggarty's home.

The jury was told Mr Bennett's blood was found inside Heggarty's flat at Clare Road in Grangetown, and on clothes he was wearing on the night of the killing.

Heggarty's fingerprints were also discovered in the blood on a wall in the cellar of the flat.

The court heard that forensic tests had determined that the murder weapon, which has never been found, was a hammer-type object.

Greg Bull QC, prosecuting, said splashes of blood on Heggarty's settee were consistent with the attack having been carried out with the victim lying on it.

Mr Bennett may have been "asleep or dozing or with his back to his attacker" at the time, he said.

Firefighters discovered Mr Bennett's remains in the rear of his blazing Renault Laguna in the car park of the Earl Haig British Legion Club in Whitchurch, Cardiff, two days after the murder.

The body was so badly burnt, Mr Bennett, who lived with his partner, step children and young son in St Mellons, could only be identified from dental records, the court heard.

During the trial the court was told Mr Bennett was known to have been carrying up to 3,000 in cash and illicit drugs worth about 10,000.

After his arrest, the jury was told Heggarty was found to have paid off 1,500 of debts on the same day as the murder.

A cache of drugs was also discovered at his girlfriend's home.

Mr Heggarty, a salesman, had denied murder.

He told the jury that Mr Bennett "was like the brother I never had", adding that it was "incredible" to say that he had killed his friend.

He said Mr Bennett, a former chef in the merchant navy, used his ground floor flat to store his drugs and used to move in for a day or two at a time if he argued with his partner.

The judge told Heggarty: "There is no doubt he enjoyed your company that night, drinking, taking drugs and going to an all- night party.

"Within hours of that coming to an end, you bludgeoned him to death, hitting him about the head with a blunt object, shattering his skull into 23 pieces. He took one and a half hours to die.

"I have no doubt your motive was robbery."

Outside the court, Mr Bennett's brother, Paul, 45, welcomed the life sentence, saying: "Justice has been served and it has given me faith again in the justice system.

"There is no jubilation for me in this. At the end of the day that man should never be on the streets.

"He should have been locked up a long time ago."

Heggarty's solicitor Andrew Shanahan said: "Mr Heggarty is shocked at the verdict and intends to appeal against the conviction. We will be preparing the appeal as soon as possible."


Derek Bennett, the victim had gone to a late night party with his friend.


The blazing car with Mr Bennett's body in it was left abandoned.


Mr Bennett's blood was found inside Heggarty's flat in Grangetown, Cardiff.



home last updates contact