Judge set to hear legal arguments in Millom murder case
Last updated at 13:32, Thursday, 11 February 2010
THE sentencing of a killer who stabbed his ex-girlfriend 41 times has been adjourned.
At Manchester Crown Court yesterday, defence barrister Jeffrey Samuels QC said he wanted to bring in his own expert psychiatrist before his client – Benjamin Cooper – was dealt with.
Cooper, 35, of Wellington Street, Millom, admitted the manslaughter of Claire Marshall and attempted murder of his stepfather when he appeared at crown court on Monday.
The main bone of contention between the prosecution and the defence teams is differing psychiatric reports made by two eminent professionals.
On Monday, Professor Bob Peckitt told the judge his views on Cooper’s mental state at the time of the incidents and now.
Defence counsel say their expert disputes some of his claims and asked that he be called to give evidence before sentencing takes place.
The Honourable Mr Justice Andrew Nicol will have a chance to listen to both viewpoints before deciding how to proceed.
He has to decide whether Cooper should be sent to secure psychiatric care, prison or a mixture of both.
The judge also needs to decide if the sentence should be determinate or indeterminate and what risk he could pose to the public if released.
Both the prosecution and defence teams agree that his delusional psychosis was the result of prolonged drug abuse.
On Monday, the court heard how Cooper attempted to cut off his ex-girlfriend’s head in front of her two daughters.
He stabbed 35-year-old Claire Marshall 41 times, practically decapitating her, at her Newton Street home in Millom on January 24, last year.
The self-employed recruitment consultant then tried to kill his stepfather with a meat cleaver and a knife. Cooper, who had a history of drug abuse, was suffering from delusions and believed that Miss Marshall and his stepfather were intending to kill him.
Cooper is now expected to be sentenced next Tuesday.
First published at 12:45, Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
i am writing in responce to Ian Honeyman's comments. for starters i will properly introduce myself i am Roann Jones Ms Marshall's eldest daughter and witness to her murder, Cooper is a animal he took my mams life away from her and took her away from her daughters and family and if he is not concidered a animal to you then you dont understand the full extent of what this thing did to me and my sisters not only has the youngest lost her mum but her father aswell. anyway i do not like the fact that you are kind of sticking up for him in my eyes and people who knew my mum he is a monster and deservers to died for what he did he has ruined our life's and now we have to cope with his mess its not fair on us.Roann
6 years...???! Unbelievable!!!
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