Judge to return verdict on Cooper appeal application
12:20pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 in County News
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, is due to decide today (Wednesday) whether a pensioner convicted of four shotgun murders in Pembrokeshire will be able to appeal.
Two weeksago John William Cooper applied to the Criminal Court of Appeal sitting in Cardiff for leave to appeal against his convictions for the murders of brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas at Scoveston in 1985 and the coast path ‘executions’ of husband and wife Peter and Gwenda Dixon four years later.
Cooper had always denied the offences but was found guilty by a jury in Swansea in May last year after an eight-week trial.
The jury was shown evidence revealed by modern forensic techniques – including DNA evidence – which had not been available to the original investigations.
Cooper’s defence team argued that the trial jury was profoundly misdirected by the judge in his summing up in relation to evidence used to convict Cooper in a previous trial.
Lord Judge reserved judgement on the appeal application until today.