Home » News »

Shorter jail time for killing NZ flatmate

A New Zealand man jailed for killing his flatmate and smashing the skull to eliminate forensic evidence has had his sentence slashed by a year.

 
 

James Grant Cooper, of Auckland, was last year sentenced to eight years and three months jail for killing Javed Mills in July 2009 and concealing his death.

But a Court of Appeal decision ruled the starting point for the sentences was too high and substituted terms of three years and nine months for the manslaughter and three years and six months for perverting the course of justice.

The sentences are to be served cumulatively, meaning he’s been sentenced to seven years and three months.

A jury in August cleared Cooper of murder, but found him guilty of manslaughter.

On the day of Mr Mills’ death, he and Cooper got into a fight. Cooper punched him in the head twice, but the fatal blow came when Cooper struck him in the temple with his elbow.

Cooper had led Mr Mills’ family and friends to believe he had moved to Wellington to pursue his music career.

Cooper used the dead man’s bank card to access his benefit and set up a profile on social networking site Bebo in Mr Mills’ name, which he used to send messages to his family.

During the trial, Cooper said he killed Mr Mills in self defence and tried to cover up the death because he was scared his actions would be misconstrued.

He buried Mr Mills’ body on the property of the flat they shared, but dug it up about a year later and stored it in a wheelie bin.

Cooper later smashed the skull in a bid to eliminate forensic evidence against him.

He then dumped the remains in the garage of a nearby abandoned house, where it was found in 2011 by a demolition company employee.

 
 

 

comments