Birmingham & Black Country

A murderer's dad and brother are jailed for helping him cover his tracks

Father and son Colin Cooke Snr and Colin Cooke Jnr Image copyright West Mids Police
Image caption Father and son Colin Cooke Snr and Colin Cooke Jnr both jailed in connection with the murder of Ronald Smith.

The father and brother of a convicted murderer have been jailed for helping the killer to cover his tracks.

Paul Cooke was jailed for almost 30 years last September for a robbery and knife attack that led to the death of Ronald Smith, 64, in West Bromwich.

Further enquiries led detectives to arrest his father Colin Cooke, 61, and 36-year-old brother Colin Cooke Jnr.

A court heard how they helped Paul Cooke hide out and were involved in the robbery.

They denied being involved but Cooke Snr was found guilty of conspiracy to rob and assisting an offender and was sentenced to seven years in prison at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday.

Cooke Jnr was found guilty of assisting an offender and received a 30 month sentence. He was cleared of conspiracy to rob.

Image copyright West Mids Police
Image caption Victim Ronald Smith had 20 stab wounds

Paul Cooke stole £600 in cash from the victim's home and locked the door as he made off in the hope the body would lie undetected in May 2015.

A neighbour raised the alarm almost four weeks later.

A post mortem examination revealed he'd suffered more than 20 stab wounds.

The court heard how one witness recalled overhearing Paul Cooke and his dad plotting to rob Mr Smith the day before the killing.

In a police interview, Cooke Jnr claimed to have dropped his brother near Perry Barr dog track on May 7 and "never saw him again".

But mobile phone analysis revealed the pair had been near the Metro Inn, Walsall, later that day.

Detectives also discovered that Cooke Snr helped hide Paul Cooke at addresses in Tipton as he tried to lie low in the aftermath of the murder.

Police believe another person was involved in the fatal attack and stressed the murder case remains open.

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