Woman stalked by double murder suspect, trial told

A woman told police she was being stalked by a man who was later accused of murdering her and another woman, a jury has heard.

Carl Cooper, 66, from Hither Green in south-east London, denies murdering Naomi Hunte, 41, and 48-year-old Fiona Holm.

Ms Hunte made a number of domestic callouts to police to her Woolwich home in 2020 and 2021 and told them that Mr Cooper was "obsessed" with her, Woolwich Crown Court has heard.

The prosecution described Mr Cooper as an "obvious suspect" in the killing of Ms Hunte, who was found stabbed to death on her blood-soaked sofa on Valentine's Day in 2022. Ms Holm, whose body has never been found, is believed to have died on 20 June 2023.

'Really scared'

In a callout by police on 24 November 2020, Ms Hunte told officers: "I think he is obsessed with me. He told me he really likes me. I told him, I just want to be friends. He was angered at that."

Ms Hunte said she was "really scared" and reported that Mr Cooper had warned her he was "going to wait out here until the morning, I'm going to watch where you go and who you go and see".

She said they had slept together but were not in a relationship and had separated some days earlier.

In a callout to her home on 29 June 2021, Ms Hunte told officers that Mr Cooper "stalks me and I'm really scared now".

The court heard that when police had visited her flat on 6 November 2020, she told them she did not want to take her allegations any further, saying she had been drunk and could not remember making a complaint.

She was asked if she was afraid of what the person she was complaining about might do to her or someone else, if the abuse was happening more often and if there had been any threats that had made her scared.

Ms Hunte replied "no" to all the questions.

'Very unusual case'

The court has heard that inquiries showed that the last person to visit her was Mr Cooper. Her blood was later found on three different areas of his jacket, the court heard.

Earlier on Wednesday, Narita Bahra KC, defending, told the jury they were judges of fact in what was a "very unusual case".

Ms Bahra said: "Are we even sure that Fiona Holm is dead? And if you are sure, then you will have to go on to consider who is responsible for the killing."

She added that "the obvious suspect is a dangerous starting point" and the prosecution was relying on circumstantial evidence.

She said: "You should take great care not to jump to conclusions, keep an open mind - bias and preconceptions need to be put to one side - and if you are not sure about any of the evidence, then the benefit must go to Mr Cooper.

"You need to decide who killed Naomi Hunte or whether Fiona Holm is dead."

'Callous bully'

Ms Holm, of Catford, south-east London, was alcohol dependent, autistic and had ADHD and, like Ms Hunte, had also made complaints about Mr Cooper to the police, the court has heard.

He lit fires in the days after Ms Holm went missing and carried out a "wholesale redecoration" of his living room, which included stripping off wallpaper, cutting out net curtains and removing a rug, prosecutor Joel Smith KC previously told the jury.

He described the defendant as a "callous bully" with a "predilection to control women" and who was "prone to violence when challenged".

The trial continues.

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