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Brothers Roger and David Cooper given at least 30 years for Sameena Imam murder

Published 21/10/2015

Roger and David Cooper were found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering Sameena
Roger and David Cooper were found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering Sameena

Two brothers who murdered a marketing manager on Christmas Eve using chloroform have both been jailed for at least 30 years.

Cash-and-carry boss Roger Cooper and ex-Army reservist David Cooper, aged 41 and 39, were convicted yesterday of killing Sameena Imam, whose body was buried on an allotment.

Jailing the killers for life at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Patrick Thomas QC told the siblings: "The use of a poison in a case such as this demonstrates a cold-blooded intention to kill, regardless of the consequences.

"You worked together, hand in glove, in planning and carrying out the murder of a joyful and bubbly young woman, brutally betrayed by a man she loved and his brother."

The 34-year-old victim, who was having an affair with work colleague Roger Cooper, was lured to her death with the promise of a two-night stay at Birmingham's Malmaison hotel.

But instead of being driven to Birmingham from Coventry's Costco warehouse, where Roger Cooper was the store manager, Miss Imam was instead "delivered to her death" at David Cooper's home in Hughenden Drive, Leicester.

Roger Cooper, of Tilehurst Drive, Coventry, wanted Miss Imam "out of his life" to prevent his long-term partner finding out about his affairs with her and another female colleague at Costco.

Miss Imam is thought to have been smothered with chloroform, which was bought online, minutes after arriving in Leicester at about 5pm on December 24.

Ordering both brothers to serve at least 30 years before they can even be considered for parole, Judge Thomas said: "Poisoning cases are, demonstrably, very rare.

"Historically allegations of murder by poison were treated with such seriousness that they were almost invariably prosecuted by the attorney general in person."

The judge, who was told that a plot to kill Miss Imam was under way in early December, said of the offence: "It was a long-planned deliberate murder of a young woman whose misfortune it was to have fallen in love with you, Roger Cooper.

"You killed a bright, selfless, ambitious, hard-working and life-loving woman - a daughter, a sister and an aunt - because that fact was inconvenient to you.

"You, Roger Cooper, took her to Leicester, to your brother's house.

"Exactly what happened there you know, and no one else does. But I am satisfied that hardly had she entered the house that you two tall, strong men held her helpless while one of you administered chloroform, probably in a cloth to her face."

An eight-week trial heard that a bottle of Bellini which Miss Imam bought in Coventry to share with Roger Cooper at the hotel was found at his brother's home.

Police search teams found Miss Imam's body hidden in a shallow grave on David Cooper's allotment in Groby Road, Leicester, on January 16.

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