Clacton: Man sentenced to life imprisonment for smothering his mother

Peter Dickson

Peter Dickson - Credit: Archant

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of smothering his mother to death in Clacton.

Carol Cooper

Carol Cooper - Credit: Archant

Carol Cooper was killed inside her flat on St Vincent Road during the evening of Friday, November 2, 2012. A post-mortem examination result showed that the 66-year-old woman died from asphyxia through smothering.

Carol’s son, Peter Dickson, was arrested at the flat when officers arrived and was later charged with her murder. The 37-year-old former carpet fitter, who lived with his mother, stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, April 30 and, today, was found guilty of murder. The court has given Mr Dickson a life sentence with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 18 years.

Senior investigating officer, DCI Anne Cameron, said: “We are delighted with today’s verdict. We would like to thank Carol’s family who have given us so much assistance during the entire investigation and throughout the trial. Since Carol’s death, her family and friends have been through an extremely difficult and trying time yet have acted with great dignity throughout.

“The loss of Carol from their lives was made even harder by the fact that her son, Peter Dickson, whom she loved, was the person responsible for her murder. There can be no excuse for the actions of Peter Dickson. He showed a complete disregard for the life of Carol and has now been sentenced and will have many years to reflect upon the utter distress he has caused to many people.

“Carol’s death impacted on neighbours and we again thank them for their help during the investigation.”

In a statement, Carol’s sister, Daphne Wilson, said: “Our beloved Carol was so cruelly taken from us by her son. We have now found justice for her and she can finally rest in peace. A person who truly loved life and lived it to the full, she will never be forgotten.

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“We would like to thank Essex Police for their continued support and caring approach to our devastating loss. We also thank the team from Victim Support who have always been there for us.”