The man who has headed the investigation that has placed Cooper behind bars today branded him 'evil.'

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins, added: “Following a court appearance in 2009, John William Cooper shouted to the communities of Wales not to judge him until the evidence had been heard.

“Over the last nine weeks, 12 people from that community have listened to all of the evidence and decided that he is guilty of all charges.

"I believe this is the right decision. John Cooper is a very dangerous and evil man, who for pitiful gain murdered four people and later subjected five children to a terrible attack and he will now spend the rest of his life in prison.

“At this time I would like to express my thanks to the victims and families of the victims in this case who for many years have shown remarkable dignity and patience in their long wait for justice and for the support they have given to me and the investigation team.

"I would also like to thank Tom Atherton and the Crown Prosecution Service for their advice and guidance and Gerard Elias QC and his team for a superb prosecution of this complex case.”