Wales

Laura Stuart murder: Ex-boyfriend has appeal rejected

Jason Cooper Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Jason Cooper was convicted of murder at Mold Crown Court in March

A man who was jailed for murdering of his ex-girlfriend has had his appeal rejected.

Jason Cooper, 28, of Denbigh, stabbed mother-of-two Laura Stuart, 33, in August last year as she walked home.

Cooper, who was previously in a relationship with Miss Stuart, was jailed at Mold Crown Court in March for a minimum of 31 years.

Dismissing the appeal, Lady Justice Hallett said the length of the sentence was appropriate.

Cooper was also given a concurrent 12-year term for causing intentional grievous bodily harm to David Roberts, a friend of Miss Stuart's who tried to intervene during the attack.

On Thursday, judges sitting at the Court of Appeal rejected his bid for a shorter sentence.

"He caused huge distress and grief to many people, including two children who must grow up without their mother," said Lady Justice Hallett.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Jason Cooper stabbed Laura Stuart three times in the back as she tried to flee

Cooper attacked Miss Stuart as she walked home from Denbigh town centre and stabbed her three times in the back as she tried to flee.

When Mr Roberts tried to intervene, Cooper stabbed him three times before kicking Miss Stuart three times in the chest and face.

At his trial, he claimed that his alcohol dependence syndrome had diminished his responsibility for what he did to the extent he could not be guilty of murder.

At the appeal, his barrister Patrick Harrington QC argued that too long a minimum term had been set.

Cooper was of previous good character and still young, facing a sentence longer than his age at the time of the offence, he said.

Dismissing the appeal, Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Stuart Smith and Mrs Justice May, said 31 years was appropriate.

"The mitigation was limited - he had no previous convictions," she added.

"But, far from showing remorse, he appeared to be proud of what he had done.

"We have considered with care the judge's very full sentencing remarks. He sets out precisely why he took such a serious view of Cooper's conduct and culpability.

"Jason Cooper killed one young mother and nearly killed a friend with no justification or provocation whatsoever."

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