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Son who beat dad to death in Dorset sectioned
CRIME SCENE: Former BBC journailist Winton Cooper was battered to death by his son Joseph Cooper at the home they shared in Marnhull
A MENTALLY ill Dorset man who beat his abusive BBC journalist father to death with a hammer has been handed an indeterminate sentence.
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 Winton Cooper, 64.
The attack happened in the country cottage the pair shared in Ham Meadow, in the village of Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on April 15, 2011.
Cooper pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility in August last year but denied murder.
The prosecution accepted his plea after doctors found he was mentally ill.
He was yesterday handed a section 37 hospital order under the Mental Health Act 1983 and a section 41 restriction order under the same act.
He will only be released if he is not deemed a risk to the public.
Mr Cooper senior was a former BBC Radio Sheffield reporter who moved to Dorset following his retirement.
Winchester Crown Court heard evidence from psychiatrist Dr John O’Shea who confirmed Cooper had been suffering from an intellectual disorder, autistic spectrum disorder and a personality disorder.
Cooper had been convicted of attacking his father in December, 2009 and had been heard to say: “Something just flips inside and I just go.
“I cannot control it”.
The court had previously heard that Cooper had a troubled childhood at the hands of his father and mother, who had drink problems, and Mr Cooper senior had been violent and abusive to his son.
Sentencing Judge Guy Boney QC told Cooper he was handing him the restriction order for the ‘protection of the public from the risk of serious harm you present’.
Afterwards, DC Andy Brix, said: “There was a long history of incidences which led to this tragic case.
“Joseph is now in the best place where the public can be protected from him and his illnesses can be treated.”