Tommy Cooper's niece found in pool of blood after being stabbed to death, as killer faces life behind bars

18 May 2023, 16:10 | Updated: 18 May 2023, 16:20

Tommy Cooper's niece was found dead
Tommy Cooper's niece was found dead. Picture: Sussex Police/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A man has admitted murdering the niece of the comedian Tommy Cooper, who was found dead in a pool of blood last year.

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Sabrina Cooper was found dead by police at her home in Eastbourne, in East Sussex, in December 2022.

Police were called out after concerns over the welfare of the 68-year-old woman.

She had been stabbed several times in the chest and abdomen.

Tony King, 60, who lived close to the victim, pleaded guilty to her murder at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday. He faces life in prison, the judge said, although sentencing comes next month.

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Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper. Picture: Alamy

Ms Cooper's daughter choked back tears during the trial and bit her lip as she stared at him being led away to the cells, the Mirror reported.

Ms Cooper's father was the brother of famous comedian Tommy Cooper, who died on stage in 1984.

Sabrina Cooper was stabbed to death
Sabrina Cooper was stabbed to death. Picture: Derbyshire Police

Ms Cooper's family said in a tribute: "On behalf of the family, we thank everyone who has shown support and love as this nightmare has unfolded.

"A loving and dedicated mother, a beloved grandmother and a popular member of the Eastbourne community, Sabrina enjoyed walking her dogs through Eastbourne where she would meet other like-minded people.

Tony King
Tony King. Picture: Sussex Police

"Like us, her dogs Abra and Tricks cannot understand what has happened as they pine, staring at the door, expecting Sabrina to return."

An animal lover, Ms Cooper was well known in Eastbourne and owned a well-known magic shop until 2017.

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A local resident said: "She was a lovely lady, well-liked by everyone. It’s such a tragic thing. The shop in Eastbourne was iconic and everyone remembers it well.’

Another said: "She was a really beautiful person. She was so friendly and caring towards everyone she met.

"We can’t believe she has gone. We used to see her walking her dogs who she was devoted to."

King will be sentenced in June.

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