Farmer accused of killing wife claims he was trying to scare her
Written by News on 14/06/2019
A farmer who shot dead his estranged wife as she sat in her Range Rover has told a court in Birmingham he intended to frighten her into reconciling their marriage.
Prosecutors allege Andrew Hooper, known as Jack, had “murder in his eyes” when he deliberately shot Cheryl Hooper outside her home in Newport, Shropshire, in January last year.
Hooper, 46, suffered severe facial injuries and lost the ability to speak after turning his shotgun on himself after the incident.
In the courtroom, he was allowed to type out his answers on a keypad. He also pointed to six common answers including “yes” and “don’t know” on a sheet of paper provided to him, allowing an intermediary to relate his testimony to jurors.
Sitting in a wheelchair beside the witness box, Hooper told the court he loved his wife and did not have a clear recollection of all of the events.
During questioning from defence QC Philip Bradley, Hooper said he believed his wife was having an affair after seeing her with friends, including a man, at a pub in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton.
Admitting that he loaded the shotgun, he claimed not to remember when he had done so.
Asked about the events shortly after 11pm on 26 January, outside his wife’s home in Farmers Gate, Newport, Mr Bradley asked Hooper: “Tell the jury please what was the purpose of approaching that car with a shotgun?”
Again using his keyboard, Hooper responded: “To frighten Cheryl.”
Mr Bradley added: “Why? What did you want Cheryl to do.”
Hooper then typed: “To leave other man and reconcile our marriage.”
After maintaining that he had not intended to shoot his wife, Hooper was asked if he accepted that he had acted unlawfully by using a prohibited firearm with the intention of frightening her.
Giving Hooper’s typed answer, his intermediary told the jury: “Yes and I live every day knowing I am responsible for her death. It is not a good feeling. I am not guilty of murder though.”
Mrs Hooper’s teenage daughter told the court last week how her mother screamed “Oh my god, he’s here” shortly before she was shot.
The Crown claims the defendant deliberately shot Mrs Hooper, 51, in the neck from about 1.5 metres away because he was “consumed with anger and jealousy” after she left him at the end of 2017.
(c) Sky News 2019: Farmer accused of killing wife claims he was trying to scare her