A son beat his retired BBC journalist father to death with a hammer in a ‘shocking and gruesome’ attack at the country cottage they shared, a court heard today.
Joseph Cooper, 24, even broke the hammer handle in half as he used it, along with three kitchen knives and a pair of large secateurs, to inflict appalling injuries on Winton Cooper.
The 64-year-old was discovered by police at the cottage in the picturesque Dorset village of Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on April 15 last year.
Cooper pleaded guilty today at Winchester Crown Court to manslaughter through diminished responsibility but denied murder.
The prosecution accepted his plea after reports found he was mentally ill.
Mr Cooper was a retired BBC Radio Sheffield reporter who was at the 1989 Hillsborough football tragedy where 96 Liverpool fans died. He was killed on the 22nd anniversary of the disaster.
Stewart Jones QC, prosecuting, said Cooper junior had a troubled childhood at the hands of his father and mother, who had drink problems and Mr Cooper had been violent and abusive to his son.
Cooper was the middle of three brothers whose parents had acrimoniously split in the Nineties. He had spent his younger years in care and in trouble with the police after his father did not want him and his mother could not cope with him, the barrister said.