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Name:

Peter Foster

AKA:

 

D.O.B:

1976
Kill Total:

1

Kill date:

October 2011

Kill Place:

Haslemere, Sussex

Status:

Living with partner

Occupation:

ex-police detective
Victim:

Heather Cooper

D.O.B:

1979

 


 

Court:

Leeds Crown
Case No:  

Judge:

Mr Richard Brown

Prosecution:

Benjamin Aina QC

Defence:

Philippa McAtasney QC


 

External References

 

 

FACTFILE

 

Peter Foster & Heather Cooper, both police officers, shared a house in West Street, Haslemere, with their two young children.

 

Sunday 16th October 2011, Heather was on maternity leave having given birth to a daughter several weeks previously.

On this day, Foster who was known to have a terrible temper, exploded in rage after an argument about a baby bag.

The couple had gone to Church for the Christening of a friends grandchild, They argued and sat with their backs to each other. After the service they left without going to the party, and went home.

He attacked his partner, in front of the 2 young children, Joshua was 4-years-old at the time, with a baseball bat hitting her around the head up to 10 times, he then stabbed her in the throat.

He then drove the children to his grandmothers house, before returning home to clean up. He then drove to nearby woods where he buried her body.

 

Foster confided in his cousin, who then alerted the police.

Police arrived at the grandmothers house, where Foster said "you should arrest me", when asked what for, he replied "murder".

Later that evening Foster led police to the site where he had buried his partner.

 

Ms Cooper's body was found buried in a shallow grave in Blackdown Woods, near Lurgashall, West Sussex.

 

A post-mortem at the Royal Surrey County Hospital found that Ms Cooper had died from blunt force trauma to the head and from a stab wound to the throat.

 

Tuesday 26th June 2012, Foster pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court. Initially he pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea in court.

His defence team claimed mitigating circumstances, saying that Fosters father had been shot dead in 2009, this led foster to drink, he was found drink driving and this forced him to leave the police service, his life was spiralling out of control.

 

Sentencing Foster, Judge Richard Brown described him as an "extremely dangerous individual" who may never be safe to be released from prison.
He added: "This was a wicked, savage and senseless attack on a young mother in her own home.
Not only have you taken her life, you have also deprived Joshua and Isabel of a loving mother and, no doubt, devastated her family and friends
."


The judge added that aggravating factors were that the attack was carried out in front of the couple's children, that the defendant was trained in martial arts, and the ferocity of the attack which involved two weapons.

 

Foster was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation he serve at least 17 years behind bars.

 

30th July 2012, Foster was found dead in his prison cell at HMP Lewes in East Sussex, at 3:25am, he had hanged himself. He has been on suicide watch.

 

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