Handyman murdered two girlfriends, court told

Fiona Holm (left) and Naomi Hunte
Fiona Holm (left) and Naomi Hunte both had a relationship with Carl Cooper [Met Police]

A handyman accused of killing two girlfriends more than a year apart was a “callous bully” who was “prone to violence when challenged”, a jury has been told.

Carl Cooper, from Hither Green in south-east London, denies murdering Naomi Hunte, 41, and Fiona Holm, 48.

The 66-year-old had been in a relationship with each woman at different times.

Both had previously complained to police about his violence, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

The women were described in court as “vulnerable”.

Ms Hunte was found dead at her home in Woolwich, south-east London, in February 2022.

Ms Holm disappeared about a year after Ms Hunte was discovered. Her body has not been found.

'An obvious suspect'

Prosecution barrister Joel Smith KC told the trial Ms Hunte’s relationship with Mr Cooper “was not a happy one”.

Mr Cooper was “an obvious suspect” as Ms Hunte had previously told police he had harassed her and that she was scared of him, the jury heard.

Her body was found by a neighbour who noticed the door of her flat was open.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Hunte's cause of death to be a stab wound to the chest.

Mr Cooper was arrested and interviewed, but denied involvement.

Ms Hunte's blood was later found on three different areas of Mr Cooper’s jacket, jurors were told.

Mr Smith told the court: “Then lightning struck in exactly the same place.

"[Ms Holm] had been in a relationship with Carl Cooper.

“She too had complained to the police about his violence."

'Pattern emerges'

The court heard that while Mr Cooper was still being investigated in relation to Ms Hunte’s murder, Ms Holm - who he was in a relationship with - went missing.

Ms Holm, of Catford, in south-east London, was alcohol dependent, autistic and had ADHD, jurors were told.

She had also made complaints about Mr Cooper to the police, the court heard.

Mr Smith told jurors: “You will notice the pattern, this defendant attaches himself to vulnerable women, and he mistreats them.”

He added: “Just as with Ms Hunte, the defendant was in a relationship with a vulnerable woman.

“Just as with Ms Hunte, he was controlling and violent. Just as with Ms Hunte, he was the last person to see her alive.”

The trial continues.

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