David Alderson murder: Man jailed for 28 years

Kevin Cooper Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Kevin Cooper murdered David Alderson for his life savings, Truro Crown Court heard

A man has been jailed for 28 years for murdering a "naive pensioner" whom he lured to a disused quarry.

Kevin Cooper, 34, from Carharrack, beat David Alderson, 72, before leaving him face down in a pond, Truro Crown Court heard.

Cooper took his victim's house keys and gained access to a safe containing his life savings of £40,000.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on a second man, Trewen Kevern, 21, from Falmouth, also charged with murder.

Judge Mr Justice Nicholas Blake said it was clear Mr Alderson had been treated brutally in his last moments in January 2014.

Mr Alderson's beaten body was found at west Cornwall's Wheal Maid mine.

The court heard he had been brought there on the pretext of arranging a deal for him to buy guns.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption David Alderson's death was initially treated as a cycling accident

Cooper went to Mr Alderson's flat and stole about £40,000 from a safe and went on a spending spree including the purchase of a BMW car.

When he was arrested two days later on suspicion of drink driving, police found the keys to Mr Alderson's flat in the vehicle.

Following the hearing, Det Insp Stuart Ellis, senior investigating officer, said Mr Alderson's generosity was "his downfall".

"Once it was known that he kept a large amount of cash at his home a plan was devised to murder him and steal his money," he said.

Image copyright Tony Atkin
Image caption Mr Alderson's body was found in a sunken pond at the disused Wheal Maid mine near Carharrack

Det Insp Ellis said the victim was "tricked" into driving to the quarry and his house keys were taken from him to enter his home and steal his money.

"From that point on a web of lies was spun to cover for Mr Alderson's disappearance and the acquisition of his money. These lies have now finally come undone," he said.

Police said they would be consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service to "consider the options for further action" regarding Mr Kevern.

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