Nottingham Victoria Centre murder: Man jailed for sword attack

image copyrightNottinghamshire Police
image captionEthan Austin, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years after being convicted of murdering Lee Cooper

A man who stabbed another man through the heart with a "samurai sword" near a shopping centre has been jailed for at least 21 years.

Ethan Austin, 19, formerly of Mayo Road, Nottingham, was jailed for life for Lee Cooper's murder.

Mr Cooper, 28, died from a single stab wound outside House of Fraser in Union Road, Nottingham, on 14 September.

The trial, which lasted for two weeks at Derby Crown Court, had continued despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Jurors also unanimously convicted Austin of possessing an offensive weapon, a knife.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionMr Cooper's stab injury was "at least" eight inches deep, the court heard

In a statement, Mr Cooper's family said: "Ethan Austin has showed no remorse for his actions throughout this process, and we are pleased to see that justice has been done with him facing the full force of the law.

"In no way, however, does this stop the grief that we are feeling as a result of our loss of Lee. This will be never ending for us."

image copyrightNottinghamshire Police
image captionMr Cooper's family said: "This will be never ending for us."

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, told the court Austin "drew a knife from his waist band and stabbed him to the chest, penetrating his heart".

image copyrightLamar Francois
image captionMr Cooper died at the scene near the Rose of England pub

The court heard that the knife, which was never found, was described as a "samurai sword, albeit not a full-sized one" by an off-duty police officer who saw Mr Austin running off.

Det Ch Insp Robert Routledge said: "This tragic case clearly shows the devastating impact that knife and weapon-enabled crime can have."

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