Ex-detective pleads guilty to murder

The coffin of DC Heather Cooper with her police hat on the top Photo: PA

A former Surrey police detective has appeared in court today and admitted murdering his partner, whose body was found dumped in a shallow woodland grave.

35 year old Peter Foster pleaded guilty to killing policewoman Heather Cooper who died after being hit about the head and stabbed through the throat at their home in Haslemere, Surrey.

The body of Miss Cooper, a mother-of-two and a detective constable with Surrey Police, was found by officers in Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex, in October last year.

At the time of Miss Cooper's death, she was on maternity leave after giving birth to a daughter weeks earlier.

A post-mortem examination at the Royal Surrey County Hospital confirmed her death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head and a stab wound to the throat.

Miss Cooper, who grew up in York, joined Surrey Police in 2003 and worked in the Public Protection Investigation Unit at Guildford police station.

During her career she received several letters of praise from senior officers for her work on various crimes and in 2009 was given a commendation by the force for her "professionalism, dedication and commitment".