Laura Stuart murder: Jason Cooper jailed for 31 years

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Image source, North Wales Police

A man who repeatedly stabbed his former partner with a kitchen knife has been jailed for 31 years for her murder.

Mother-of-two Laura Stuart, 33, died after being attacked as she walked home from a night out in Denbigh, Denbighshire, last August.

Jason Cooper, 28, of Denbigh, was jailed at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday after being found guilty following a trial.

He received a 12-year concurrent term for stabbing a man who tried to help.

During the trial, the jury heard how Cooper had waited for Ms Stuart as she returned home from the Golden Lion pub on 12 August.

Ms Stuart who had stab wounds to her back, head and chest, as well as internal bleeding, died in hospital two days later.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption, Ms Stuart was attacked on her way home from a night out

Cooper had also kicked her in the face and stomach, fracturing her nose and cheek bone, before attacking her friend.

His 12-year concurrent sentence was for wounding David Roberts with intent after he tried to stop the attack.

The court heard Ms Stuart had been to police about Cooper's behaviour just days before she was killed.

Mr Justice Simon Picken passed a mandatory life sentence on Cooper and ruled he would have to serve 31 years before being considered for parole.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Stuart's mother, Elizabeth Griffiths, said: "He has not only taken my daughter's life but he has left two children without a mother and he has left me with terrible memories which will never be erased."

After the sentencing, Andrew Slight, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Our thoughts are with David Roberts and the family and friends of Laura Stuart who have shown dignity throughout the court process.

"Jason Cooper made the decision to arm himself and seek out his victims.

"His attack was calculated, deliberate and had tragic consequences."

Media caption, Det Chief Insp Neil Harrison read a statement on behalf of police and the family outside court

Det Chief Insp Neil Harrison, speaking outside court, said Cooper had never expressed any remorse for his actions.

He said Cooper had been "manipulative and coercive" during the couple's relationship which led to its breakdown but that he had "refused to accept it was over".

"Throughout the investigation and subsequent trial Cooper at no point provided an explanation for what he did last August," said the officer.

"The court's verdict and sentence reflects the gravity of these offences, the lack of remorse he has shown throughout and the fact that he has left two young children without a mother."

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