Son who killed former BBC presenter Winton Cooper gets hospital order

Former BBC presenter Winton Cooper
Image caption Winton Cooper was a presenter on the BBC Sheffield radio station in the 1980s

A man who admitted killing his ex-BBC presenter father with a hammer has been given an interim hospital order.

Joseph Cooper violently beat his father Winton, 64, on 15 April last year at the Dorset cottage they shared.

The 24-year-old had admitted manslaughter through diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

He was given a 12-week hospital order so a psychiatric assessment could be carried out before he is sentenced on 4 January.

At a previous hearing, Winchester Crown Court heard that Joseph Cooper broke a hammer handle in half as he inflicted appalling injuries on his father.

'Acting strangely'

He denied murder but his guilty manslaughter plea was accepted by the prosecution after reports found he was mentally ill.

Former BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Winton Cooper was found by police at his cottage in Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on the 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, which he had reported on in 1989.

Winton Cooper moved to Dorset after his retirement to look after his elderly father and eventually his son came to stay.

The pair lived a "peaceable existence" in the village, but Joseph Cooper attacked his father in December 2009 with a bar and pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

Image caption Winton Cooper's body was found at a home in Marnhull, Dorset, which he shared with his son

Winton Cooper had barricaded himself into his bedroom on that occasion after his son "lost it".

Joseph Cooper launched the fatal attack on his father on the landing of their home just hours after his father told neighbours his son "was acting strangely".

After the killing, Joseph Cooper phoned his brothers and mother Gail to say he had killed his father.

He said he acted in self-defence after his father attacked him with knives because he had made a noise, but forensic examination of the scene showed this did not "hold water", the court heard.

Two psychiatric reports found Joseph Cooper suffered from such an abnormality of mind it had impaired his responsibility for his actions.

Judge Guy Boney told him a long-term hospital order could be imposed when he is sentenced in January.

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