Ex BBC Sheffield man bludgeoned to death by his son

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A RETIRED BBC Radio Sheffield journalist was beaten to death with a hammer by his son in a ‘shocking and gruesome’ attack at the country cottage they shared, a court heard.

Joseph Cooper, aged 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 his father, Winton Cooper.

Mr Cooper, 64, was discovered by police at the cottage in the picturesque Dorset village of Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on April 15 2011.

Cooper pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Winchester Crown Court on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murder.

The prosecution accepted his plea after two psychiatrists found he was mentally ill.

Winton Cooper, who covered the 1989 Hillsborough football tragedy, 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 parents who had drink problems and Mr Cooper had been violent and abusive.

His parents had acrimoniously split in the 90s and Cooper spent his younger years in care and in trouble with the police because his father did not want him and his mother could not cope.

Judge Guy Boney QC adjourned sentencing to a date to be fixed so Cooper can undergo a hospital assessment.