A FORMER Huddersfield journalist was beaten to death by his own son in a “shocking and gruesome” attack.
Winton Cooper, who worked for the Examiner for many years, was battered with a hammer by Joseph Cooper in the house they shared.
Joseph Cooper, 24, even broke the hammer handle in half as he used it, along with three kitchen knives and a pair of large secateurs, to inflict appalling injuries on Mr Cooper.
The 64-year-old was discovered by police at the cottage in the picturesque Dorset village of Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on April 15 last year.
Cooper pleaded guilty yesterday at Winchester Crown Court to manslaughter through diminished responsibility but denied murder.
The prosecution accepted his plea after reports found he was mentally ill.
Mr Cooper, who lived in Honley, worked in the news and features departments at the Examiner when it was based in Ramsden Street in the 1960s and 1970s.
He later went to work for BBC Radio Sheffield and was at the 1989 Hillsborough football tragedy where 96 Liverpool fans died. He was killed on the 22nd anniversary of the disaster.
Stewart Jones QC, prosecuting, said Cooper junior had a troubled childhood at the hands of his father and mother, who had drink problems and Mr Cooper had been violent and abusive to his son.
His parents had acrimoniously split in the 90s and Cooper was the middle of three brothers and he had spent his younger years in care and in trouble with the police after his father did not want him and his mother could not cope with him, the barrister said.
Mr Cooper moved to Dorset after his retirement to look after his elderly father and eventually his son came to stay and Mr Jones said the pair lived a “peaceable existence” in the village revolving around going to the pub, local shops and home.
But Cooper did attack his father in December 2009 with a bar and pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, the court was told.
The older man had barricaded himself into his bedroom on that occasion after his son “lost it”.
But in April last year Cooper launched the fatal attack on the landing of their home just hours after Winton Cooper had told neighbours his son “was acting strangely”.
After the killing, Cooper phoned his brothers and mother Gail to say he had killed his father.