Pembrokeshire Murders (2021) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

1 Anwen.
- Long time.
- Steve.
We've done as you asked, removed Cooper from the scene.
He is giving a statement down at Haverfordwest Station.
The paramedics put her on the floor for CPR.
We need the Home Office pathologist on this.
I'll call the coroner.
And Anwen make sure everyone knows it's possible there's no crime here.
Cooper should be treated as sensitively as any husband who's just lost his wife.
There's no signs of a struggle.
No bruising on the arms or neck.
We could have prevented this.
We won't know if he killed her until we get the pathologist's report.
Till then, he won't be allowed back in the house.
He's staying with his brother.
But this is a warning.
John Cooper is out, and no good can come of that.
And we could be shut down any day.
So, it's not good enough for us to sit around waiting for forensics to save our arses.
We have to make something happen.
Those khaki shorts are out there.
Ahead of you is 28 Rose Meadow Lane, Cooper's last home.
Behind you is Sardis village.
This was his hunting ground.
Those fields were his rat runs.
And thanks to Huntsman, we know that these hedgerows were his so-called "safes", where he hid items he'd stolen or his offending gear.
Now, these khaki shorts worried him in the interviews.
He thinks they're out there still.
Steve Wilkins, hello.
Hello, Mr Wilkins.
It's the Home Office pathologist here.
Hello, sir.
Thank you for getting back to me so promptly.
- The results of Pat Cooper's postmortem.
- Yeah? She died of natural causes.
- Natural causes? - Yes.
- It was clearly heart failure.
- Her heart? OK.
All right.
Well, thank you for getting back.
We appreciate it.
No problem.
She saw this coming.
She had an ad cut out from the paper about arranging your own funeral.
She knew.
She knew living with him again would be the death of her.
Do you think he'll try and make contact with you? No chance.
What about the funeral? He won't want me there.
What about what you want? If you want to attend your mother's funeral, we can help with that.
Too much aggro.
I'll go see her in my own time.
Andrew on behalf of my team and myself I'm sorry.
It wasn't your fault.
Bad things happen around bad men.
He's right, Steve.
It wasn't our fault.
If Cooper was still inside, Pat would still be alive and Andrew would still have a mother.
But with Pat out of the picture, he's even more dangerous.
It's like a ticking time bomb.
Living on his own is new territory for him.
Just him and his thoughts.
His fantasies, compulsions.
Ten years' worth.
We have come together to commend our sister Patricia into the hands of Almighty God, our heavenly father.
In the presence of death, Christians have sure grounds for hope and confidence, and even joy, because the Lord Jesus Christ, who shared our human life and death, was raised again triumphant and lives evermore.
In this faith, we put our trust.
Help us, we humbly beseech thee, Lord.
Fuck! Glyn Huntsman recovered all the items of clothing from the house, correct? Yeah, they did, yeah.
- And they photographed every item? - Yeah.
Khaki shorts.
They're the same.
There's something wrong with this picture.
Could the colour be affected by the processing? The flash? Yeah, I guess so.
And it's an old picture.
We need to see what these shorts actually look like.
Jesus Christ They are khaki.
But they do look a lot shorter.
Maybe he had them altered.
Pat was a seamstress.
May I? Oh, Steve, elasticated waistband.
No fly.
They They look like women's shorts.
Yeah, well, they're all we've got.
We're sending them in for testing.
Steve Wilkins.
Steve, it's Angela Gallop.
Are you driving, by any chance? It's OK, you're on speaker.
I think you'd better pull over.
- What is it? - Right So, we unpicked the hem of the shorts, like you asked, and we taped the uncovered area for fibres and noticed there is a faint stain.
So, we went back to the exact same spot on the shorts and found a tiny flake of blood.
It's Peter Dixon's.
- How sure are you? - Full profile.
The probability of that blood having come from anybody else is a billion to one.
It's your golden nugget, Steve.
Steve? Are you still there? Please, don't take this the wrong way but I bloody love you! Charge him with the lot.
Including Nolton Hill? - The lot.
- Yes! Thank you.
Thank you.
Check the vehicle.
We're going in.
Morning, John.
John William Cooper, you're under arrest for the murders of Helen and Richard Thomas - Fuck off! Get off me! Fuck off! - and Peter and Gwenda Dixon.
You are also under arrest for attempted armed robbery, rape and sexual assault during an attack on five teenagers in Milford Haven in 1996.
Boss Jesus And I found this in the glove compartment.
We got him just in time.
Right, John.
You know Detective Inspector Richards.
I am Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins.
I know who you are.
Can you see OK, John? I've got a spare pair of glasses if you need them.
That's me.
That isn't.
The last time we met, you said you'd never had collar-length hair.
Oh, so I forgot that I had collar-length hair 20 years ago.
It's not a crime, is it? Let's talk about the shorts the man in the drawing's wearing, John.
Mr Cooper is being shown a photo of item AJM/165.
The khaki shorts recovered by Huntsman from 28 Rose Meadow Lane.
Now, the last time you spoke to us, John, you said that you'd once owned a pair of what you described as khaki bathers.
Is that them? Well if they're from my home, maybe.
Strictly speaking, they're not bathers, John.
The fabric's too heavy.
I used them as bathers.
So, to me, that's what they are.
During the interview in July 2008, you said that the shorts worn by the man in the drawing couldn't possibly be yours as your bathers were much shorter.
See for yourself.
For the tape, I'm showing Mr Cooper item AJM/165/B.
We unpicked the hem, John.
So, do you see how, with the excess fabric turned down, the difference in length between the two pairs of shorts is reduced? If you do that to any garment, that's what'll happen.
Yeah, we know your wife used to work as a seamstress.
Did she alter these shorts? You leave my wife out of this.
Since the July 2008 interviews, certain forensic discoveries have been made which we would like to discuss with you so that you can have an opportunity to comment.
In reference to AJM/165/B, this white circle indicates an area where an amount of Peter Dixon's blood was found.
Can you give us an explanation as to how that might be? Pat got most of my clothes from the Oxfam and Army Surplus.
Oh, and you should also be talking to my son.
As I told you all before, he was in the habit of borrowing my clothes.
John was Peter Dixon's blood deposited on the khaki shorts when you shot him? I've never killed anybody in my life.
These shorts sorry, bathers were something of a treasure trove, John.
Especially the pockets.
Photo AJM/166.
What this photo shows us, John, is a microscopic image of the fluff found in the pockets of your khaki bathers.
Fluff that consisted of human hair.
Skin cells.
Also yours.
But nothing of your son, though.
Certain fabric fibres were also found in the fluff.
For the tape, glove BB/109, found under the hedgerow near your home at 28 Rose Meadow Lane.
MTJ/5 and 7 recovered by Huntsman from the Sardis trail.
John, are these three gloves yours? Absolutely not.
As I told you before, Adrian was the glove-wearer in our family.
I never wore gloves.
I found them too cumbersome.
What about the new pair we found in the boot of your car? Well obviously, I wear gloves now.
Now I'm older, I feel the cold more.
Fibres exactly matching the constituent fibres of these three gloves were found in the fluff from the pockets of your khaki bathers.
- How do you account for that? - Are you deaf? I told you, Adrian wore the bathers more than me.
When two articles of clothing come into contact with each other, there is always an exchange of fibres.
On glove BB/109, our team found fibres from another source.
For the tape, BM/1, a sock belonging to Richard Thomas.
The only item of clothing recovered from his body after it was destroyed in the fire at Scoveston Park in 1985.
Fibres from this sock were found on glove BB/109.
And fibres from this glove were found on this sock.
- Are you with me so far, John? - Oh, keep talking, yeah.
I know you want to.
These discoveries are consistent with the accepted view that Richard Thomas' killer wore gloves when he dragged his body from the outbuilding into the main house at Scoveston.
Are you listening to this, huh? - This is Fantasy Island.
- John are you the person responsible for the murder of Richard and Helen Thomas at Scoveston Park in December 1985? No.
I was not.
Fibres are the gifts that keep on giving, John.
Other fibres, from a different source, were found on gloves MTJ/5 and 7.
For the tape, BKG/9.
Those fibres were an exact match with constituent fibres found in the underwear of a young female who was raped on the evening of the 6th March 1996 in a field by the Nolton Hill Estate, Milford Haven.
John, are you the person who, on 6th March 1996, pointed a gun at five young people, three females and two males, on Nolton Hill and searched them for money? Mr Cooper has not answered.
John, are you the person who raped one of the young females? Mr Cooper has not answered.
John, are you the person who indecently assaulted one of the other young females? For the tape PH/2, the sawn-off shotgun found on the Sardis trail, which matches the description given by two of the victims of the Nolton Hill attack, and the victim in the Sardis robbery, a crime we know you were convicted of in 1998.
If you're gonna say that you found my DNA on that, I told her about the prosecution making me handle it during the trial.
Well, we did find DNA on the gun, John.
But not yours.
You see the black finish on the barrel and stock? Anvileen satin black metal paint.
For the tape, JAW/100, recovered by Huntsman from the shed at 28 Rose Meadow Lane.
John were you the one who applied this paint to the barrel of the gun? That is not my gun.
We had the paint removed.
On some of the flakes, our forensic scientists noticed a reddish cast that tested positive for blood.
Peter Dixon's blood.
John did you shoot Peter and Gwenda Dixon with this gun? - What are you doing, John? - John Sit down, John.
Erin James? Erin Davies.
I'm married.
Hi, Erin.
I'm Detective Inspector Ella Richards.
This is Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins.
Mm, I remember you.
Erin, we've recently arrested a man on suspicion of committing four murders.
We also believe he was the man who attacked you and your friends in 1996.
After all this time? I'm so sorry.
I realise this must be a shock.
Why couldn't you have done this 13 years ago? Erin may I say something? We know we let you down.
All we want is to see to it the man who hurt you and your friends never gets to hurt anyone else ever again.
And you can help make that happen.
All of you will be assigned Family Liaison Officers to support you and your family through the process.
The trial won't be for weeks yet.
I won't be taking part in any trial.
None of you will be required to appear in court.
Everything will be done via video link.
You won't have to be in the same room as him.
My husband doesn't know I was raped.
How was it? Leanne Dauncey will testify.
Erin's angry, but Leanne thinks she can talk her round.
Karen Joseph's out of the question.
She's practically housebound.
She's had mental health issues ever since the attack.
The two boys won't cooperate, either.
Not after everything that happened with the original investigation.
The trial begins at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow of 65-year-old John William Cooper of Letterston, Pembrokeshire.
Cooper has been charged with the four murders and with the rape and indecent assault of two teenage girls at Milford Haven in 1996.
The defence will make much of the fact that the khaki shorts are indeed women's shorts.
That it makes no sense that the defendant was wearing them when he brutally murdered Mr and Mrs Dixon.
But murder cases have a habit of defying common sense.
According to the son of Mr and Mrs Dixon whenever his parents went walking and his mother was wearing long trousers, she would always put a pair of shorts in her backpack in case the weather turned warm.
But no shorts of any description were found at the Coastal Path crime scene.
Why? Imagine the sequence of events, ladies and gentlemen.
The defendant shoots the Dixons at close range.
He then moves their bodies and covers them with branches.
In the process, some of their blood - judging by these distressing images, probably a lot of their blood - gets onto his trousers.
In a panic, he goes through his victims' backpacks and finds Mrs Dixon's khaki shorts.
He removes his own blood-stained trousers and puts on Mrs Dixon's shorts and quits the scene, taking his trousers with him, unaware that a single spot of Peter Dixon's blood had found its way onto the shorts.
How come you're not inside? The SIO is the last Crown witness.
I'm not allowed in until I give my evidence.
How are you feeling? Ready as I'll ever be.
Come on.
This police artist's impression was based on a witness sighting of the defendant as he withdrew cash from a NatWest ATM in Haverfordwest using Peter Dixon's bank card.
The sighting was made two days after the murder and yet, incredibly, the defendant was still wearing Mrs Dixon's khaki shorts.
A hugely incriminating piece of evidence linking him to two murders.
Why on earth had he not disposed of them at the earliest opportunity? Think about what that says about the mind of John William Cooper.
Was he thumbing his nose at the world, convinced that he was too clever to be caught for his horrific crime? Or was his motivation darker, stranger? Did he regard Mrs Dixon's shorts as a trophy to be worn with pride and perhaps just a touch of sexual gratification? Whatever the explanation, this drawing shows a killer wearing an item of clothing stolen from a woman he has murdered in cold blood.
The defendant has always maintained that this drawing bears no resemblance to himself as he was in the summer of 1989.
But due to an extraordinary quirk of fate, one month before the Coastal Path murders, his likeness was captured on video during his appearance on a game show on national television.
The resulting image speaks volumes.
This is you.
Now, he can see you.
But you can't see him.
And, er be warned.
His defence barrister will be rough with you.
He'll try and paint you as the unreliable witness with an axe to grind.
No worries, Steve.
I've got my dragon scales for protection.
Let's have the jury back in, please.
Both the barristers will refer to you as Adrian.
That's just so the jury doesn't get confused.
No problem.
Mr Evans, are you content to begin your cross-examination? Why did you change your name? Cos he was the one that called me Adrian.
It was more of a girl's name back then.
You know that Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue? He played it constantly.
"Adrian, they're playing your song.
" He said he called me a girl's name for the same reason as the father in the song.
To toughen me up cos I'd have to fight.
Maybe it's the one thing he got right.
I'm a stubborn bastard.
Isn't it true, Adrian, that when you were living at 28 Rose Meadow Lane you often used to wear your father's clothes? No, I never wore his clothes.
What about gloves, Adrian? Isn't it true that you were the glove-wearer of the family? I used to wear gloves.
But so did he.
And who do you mean by "he"? John Cooper.
Your father? Yes, sir.
Isn't it true, Adrian, that from the age of 11 you started to become disobedient both at home and at school? Yes, a bit, maybe.
Your disobedience developed into theft, did it not, stealing money from your mother and father? No! I never stole any money from my parents.
I'm not a thief.
A few days after the murders of Mr and Mrs Dixon, a gold band was sold to a jewellers in Pembroke Dock, which the prosecution claim was the wedding ring the killer removed from Peter Dixon's corpse.
The transaction was recorded by the jeweller on a receipt bearing the signature J Cooper.
The court has heard that your father, John William Cooper, stated that the sig jeweller's receipt was not and that the usual form of his signature is JW Cooper.
Isn't it true, Adrian, that when you lived at 28 Rose Meadow Lane, you were in the habit of forging the signatures of both your mother and father for the purpose of fraudulently cashing cheques in their names? No, that's totally untrue.
You deny that you were an accomplished forger of both your mother and father's signature? - I can't hear what you're saying.
- Can't hear or refuse to hear, Adrian? Sorry, Mr Evans, we're having a technical issue this end.
Your voice keeps cutting out.
One minute, please.
Carry on, Mr Evans.
It should be OK now.
I put it to you, Adrian, that for reasons known only to yourself, you have long harboured a passionate vendetta against your father.
That, because of this vendetta, in your dealings with the police in both the Huntsman and the Ottawa investigations, you have done everything in your power to assist them in their singled-minded persecution of your father.
Indeed, that you see your appearance in court today as merely another opportunity to spread more lies.
Do you really think I want to be here? Erin, Leanne, thank you for coming.
These are our parents and Erin's husband.
Er, we'll show you to the room you'll be giving your evidence from.
We've decided to give our evidence in court.
Oh? Karen died.
What happened? Her health finally gave out.
- We're doing this for her.
- Yeah.
- And Stephen and David.
- Yeah.
Are you OK? Tissues and water.
We often played in the woods by our estate.
There was a rope swing.
So, we were mucking about on that.
About eight o'clock it got dark, so we headed home.
We took the shortcut across the farmer's field.
We were about halfway along when we heard a noise.
We all turned round and saw someone coming towards us, shining a torch in our eyes.
I thought it was a boy we knew, so I shouted at him "Shine the light in our eyes, why don't you, Martin?" But the person shouted back in a man's voice "Do I look like Martin?" We all thought it was the farmer then.
But, erm as he came closer, we could see he had a mask on over his head with holes for the mouth and eyes and er, he had a shotgun pointing at us.
Er, David started to apologise to the man for us being on his land.
The man told him to shut up and er, he hit him over the head with the shotgun.
And, erm David started crying then.
And then he told us to walk down to the lower part of the field, which you can't see from the estate.
He made us say our names.
His voice was angry.
We were all really scared.
And then he told us to lie down on the ground and keep our faces in the grass.
And then I felt him pulling my hair at the back.
He told me to stand up and to go with him.
Mrs Davies, the ordeal that you and your friends suffered on the evening of 6th March 1996 happened 15 years ago.
You were a girl of 16.
You were terrified.
It was dark.
Given all that, how reliable do you think your memory is of the events which took place? I remember every detail like it was yesterday.
You don't forget something like that.
You try to.
But you can't.
Did the man who attacked you ever remove his mask? No.
So, to be clear at no time did you, or any of your friends, see his face? No.
This man in the photograph is the real John Cooper.
A loving husband who was married to his wife for 42 years.
We had a son who was the apple of our eye.
An apple that went bad and broke his mother's heart.
I believe that the heart attack that killed my wife was brought on because of the the stress, the sadness and the shame because of all the time that I spent in prison as an innocent man.
The police and Mr Elias tell you I'm a liar.
That I'm lying when I say that most of my clothes, most significantly, my khaki bathers, were second-hand.
Well obviously, they don't know what it's like to be poor.
This suit that I'm wearing today, it's second-hand.
In my wardrobe at home, I've got an overcoat second-hand that I wore to my wife's funeral.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I spent ten years of my life in prison for crimes that I did not commit.
Please Please, do not allow the police to carry out another miscarriage of justice against me.
I am not a murderer.
I am not a rapist.
I am an innocent man who's been wronged.
Thank you.
Mr Elias it's a quarter to four.
This would probably be a suitable time for me to rise.
Are you content to begin your cross-examination of Mr Cooper tomorrow? If My Lord would permit, I would like to have a few minutes with Mr Cooper.
- Very well, Mr Elias.
- Thank you, My Lord.
All right, Mr Cooper I would like to ask you a few questions about the balaclava which was discovered under the hedgerow near the scene of the Sardis robbery.
Ladies and gentlemen, you will remember that this is the balaclava which, in the course of the Huntsman trial, it was found that there were a number of the defendant's head hairs within it.
Could you please give Mr Cooper exhibit MTJ/14, please? It's all right, Mr Cooper.
The item has been cleared forensically.
Touching it won't compromise you in any way.
Mr Cooper is that your balaclava? To the best of my knowledge.
Yes or no, Mr Cooper? Yes.
But I did not commit the Sardis robbery.
Like I said, that was stolen off my boat long before it was found under the hedgerow.
But you accept that the balaclava is yours? Yes.
Mr Cooper, that isn't what you told the jury during the Huntsman trial in 1998, is it? I know.
I made a mistake.
During that trial, under oath, you denied that the balaclava was yours.
So, my question to you, Mr Cooper, is were you lying to the jury then - or are you lying to the jury now? - I'm not a liar.
- I forgot.
I made a mistake.
- Let me rephrase the question.
What was the truth? What you told the jury in 1998 or what you've told the jury today? No, I didn't deliberately I misremembered.
Misremembered in 1998 or misremembered today, Mr Cooper? Mr Cooper the question is a simple one.
Which was it? What you said to the court in 1998 or what you have told us today? Today.
So, you admit that in 1998 you lied to that jury? - Yes, but - Thank you, My Lord.
So members of the jury it is now time for you to retire to consider your verdicts.
Remember, at all times, you must keep in mind that it is for the Crown to prove the guilt of John William Cooper not for the defence to prove his innocence.
If the Crown have failed to do that, then you must find him not guilty.
- All right? - Yeah.
What are those? That's my post-verdict statements for the press.
Not guilty.
Well, you can get rid of that one.
That's my letter of resignation.
What? I'd have failed the victims and their families.
All rise! Whatever the judgment is we receive it with dignity.
Ella, Lynne, Glyn, Nigel, Rambo, it's been an honour and a privilege.
- Cheers, boss.
- Cheers, boss.
Let's have the jury in, please.
Will the foreman please stand? Will the defendant please stand? My Lord, the jury has been in retirement - for eight hours and ten minutes.
- Thank you.
Mr Foreman, please answer my next question yes or no.
Have you reached a verdict on which you are all agreed? Yes.
Is that in relation to all 11 counts? Yes.
On count one of the indictment, the murder of Helen Thomas, do you find the defendant, John William Cooper, guilty or not guilty? - Guilty.
- Guilty.
On count two of the indictment, the murder of Richard Thomas, guilty or not guilty? - Guilty.
- Guilty.
On count three of the indictment, the murder of Gwenda Dixon, guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
On count four of the indictment, the murder of Peter Dixon, guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
On count five of the indictment, the rape of Erin Davies, nee James guilty or not guilty? - Guilty.
- Rubbish! That's rubbish! I'm not a child rapist! This is not justice! On count six of the indictment, the indecent assault of Leanne Dauncey, guilty or not guilty? - Guilty.
- This is rubbish! You've not heard all the evidence! This is a fit-up! This is not justice! Mr Cooper, be quiet, or I will have you removed.
We love you, John! On counts seven, eight, nine, ten and 11, the offences of attempted robbery, guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
John William Cooper, the jury have found you guilty of all 11 counts on the indictment.
Shut up, you stupid bastard! I hereby sentence you to life imprisonment.
The crimes for which you have been convicted are of such evil wickedness, the mandatory sentence of life - This is not justice! - .
will mean just that.
- I'm an innocent man! - Take him down.
This is not justice! This is persecution! Persecution of John Cooper, carried out by Steve Wilkins! A man is gonna spend time in prison for a crime he did not commit! I am not a rapist! I am not a murderer! This is a fit-up! I am not a murderer! Today's verdicts give the families of Richard and Helen Thomas, Peter and Gwenda Dixon, and the five victims of the Nolton Hill attack and their families justice.
But there is no sentence the court could have imposed on John William Cooper that could ever compensate them for their loss.
Today's verdicts are a warning to all individuals who would commit such terrible crimes.
Whatever they touch will bear witness against them.
Evidence lasts.
It does not forget.
And it cannot lie.
And it will always be found by those with the will to find it.
Thank you.
On behalf of Dyfed Powys Police, I would like to pay tribute to the officers of Operation Ottawa for their diligence and their professionalism.
Are you ready for your exclusive, Mr Hill? Thanks, Steve.
- Are we good? - Yeah.
Detective Superintendent, can I get your reaction to today's sentencing? Yeah, really great.
Really nice.
- Yeah? - Brilliant.
Yeah, it's amazing.
- Great.
- It's all here.
- He loves it? - Yeah.
- Awesome.
- It's all yours.
- Much appreciated.
- Enjoy.
I'll look after it, I promise.
Boss Visitor for you downstairs.
Hey, what's this? - I thought you were in school? - Yeah, I got the afternoon off.
I thought I'd come and see where it all happened.
Well, there's not much to see now.
"There is no greater responsibility or duty placed on a human being "than to investigate the circumstances of the death "of another human being.
" Quite the job description, eh? I've decided sixth form's not for me.
Are you OK with that? - Does your mother know? - Yeah.
She blames you.
Of course she does.
I'm thinking of joining the police.
Seriously? What about the football? Ah, come on, Dad.
I'm good, but I'm not that good.
What makes you think you'd be any better as a policeman? You made a success of it.
How hard can it be? Watch it! I should've stayed.
We should've talked.
I'm sorry, Ma.
Huna blentyn Ar fy mynwes Clyd a chynnes Ydyw hon Breichiau mam sy'n Dynn amdanat Cariad mam sy dan fy mron.

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