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Man jailed over murder of long-term partner

Ronald Cooke, aged 55, attacked Tina Billingham at their home in Granville Road, Cradley Heath, on February 6, 2017. Photo: West Midlands Police.

A Sandwell man who stabbed his partner of 20 years to death following an argument has been convicted of her murder.

Ronald Cooke, aged 55, attacked Tina Billingham at their home in Granville Road, Cradley Heath, on February 6, 2017, before driving her to their local doctor’s surgery.

Cooke dragged injured 54-year-old Tina from his van into the surgery in Hawes Lane, claiming she had stabbed herself during a domestic row.

She was treated by medical staff at Rowley Healthcare, but was confirmed dead at hospital later.

Cooke dragged injured 54-year-old Tina from his van into the surgery in Hawes Lane, claiming she had stabbed herself during a domestic row. Credit: West Midlands Police.

A post mortem confirmed the mother-of-two died as a result of stab wounds to the chest and stomach area.

Cooke was arrested by officers, but initially claimed his partner of 20 years had harmed herself. However, investigating officers found that Cooke’s relationship with Tina had been abusive and controlling.

On the day of the murder, neighbours heard Ronald Cooke shouting and arguing before she saw Cooke walk down the drive to his transit van and shout at Tina to get in the passenger side.

Today Cooke was convicted of murder at Wolverhampton Crown Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment, he will serve a minimum of 24 years.

Detective Inspector Harry Harrison from the force’s homicide unit, said:

Cooke was clearly a bully and was the root cause of an awful lot of misery in Tina’s life, arrogant to the end he has shown no remorse.

Men with his character traits have no place in a civilised society, he has now rightly been brought to justice.

– Detective Inspector Harry Harrison.