DOUBLE MURDERS TRIAL: Jury retires to consider murder verdicts
5:05pm Monday 23rd May 2011 in Cooper: Double murders trial
The jury in the trial of John William Cooper, the farm labourer charged with multiple murders, have begun to consider their verdicts.
The jury at Swansea crown court today listened to the judge, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams, sum up the evidence heard during the two month trial at Swansea crown crown court.
Mr Justice Williams finished his summing up on Tuesday and sent the jury out.
Cooper, aged 66, of Spring Gardens, Letterston, denies shotting to death Oxfordshire holidaymakers Peter and Gwenda Dixon as they walked the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in June, 1989.
He also denies murdering brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas at their home, Scoveston Park, in 1985. They had also been shot with a 12 bore shotgun.
Cooper further denies raping a 16 year-old girl and indecently assaulting her friend, as well as attempting to rob five teenagers, all on March 6, 1996.
The prosecution at Swansea crown court argue that all the crimes are linked to each other and to Cooper.
The jury has heard that Cooper, then of St Mary's Park, Jordanston, had been jailed for 16 years in 1998 for 30 burglaries and a violent robbery. Items recovered by police during that investigation were "cold case" tested between 2007 and 2009 using modern forensic techniques and provided evidence which, the crown says, shows Cooper's guilt of the murders.