Devon

Keith Dance murder: Life sentences for murderers

  • 7 February 2014
  • From the section Devon
Ian Gollop and Jacqueline Cooke
Image caption Ian Gollop admitted murdering Keith Dance, while Jacqueline Cooke was found guilty after a three-week trial.

A man and woman have been jailed for life for the "callous and brutal" murder of a man in Plymouth.

The body of Keith Dance, 33, was found at a house in Molesworth Road, in the Stoke area of the city, in March 2013.

Thirty-year-old Jacqueline Cooke, of Victoria Place, Plymouth, received a 15-year term, while her former partner, Ian Gollop, 51, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years.

Mr Justice Burnett said the murder was a "calculated revenge attack".

At her trial, the jury at Plymouth Crown Court was told Cooke claimed to have stabbed Mr Dance - a former drinking partner - because he had raped her a few weeks earlier.

Image caption The body of Keith Dance was found at a house in Molesworth Road

Prosecutor Michael Fitton QC said when she confronted him, Mr Dance admitted raping her, but his attitude was "whatever".

Cooke told police she "lost the plot" and stabbed him in the head and neck, then carved the word "whatever" on his stomach.

She later denied her involvement in Mr Dance's murder and blamed it on Gollop.

Gollop, who throttled Mr Dance before stamping on his head, admitted murder at an earlier hearing.

Cooke denied murder, but was convicted after a three-week trial.

Det Insp Costa Nassaris, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said the pair had committed a "callous and brutal murder" which had shocked the community.

The victim's stepfather Ron Flower branded the couple "pure evil".

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