The Crown has rejected an offer to settle a proceeds of crime case against a couple who claimed more than £180,000 in benefit payments for a vulnerable woman they murdered while she was meant to be in their care.

Edward Cairney and Avril Jones are thought to have murdered Margaret Fleming by unknown means between December 18, 1999 and January 5, 2000 before covering up the crime for almost 18 years.

READ MORE: Margaret Fleming police in plea to her killers over location of body

Ms Fleming’s body has never been found, but Cairney, 77, and Jones 59, were convicted of her murder in June this year.

During their trial, which began in April, prosecutors described Ms Fleming as a “friendless and lonely” young woman with significant difficulties.

Jones was also convicted unanimously of fraudulently claiming £182,000 in benefits by pretending Ms Fleming was alive and the couple were both convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The Crown have demanded that money be repaid, however rejected an offer of partial payment from Jones, according to her legal representative.

READ MORE: Margaret Fleming 'carers' jailed for life with minimum of 14 years

A proceeds of crime hearing has been set for June.

The couple, from Inverclyde, were jailed for life earlier this year and ordered to spend at least 14 years in prison.