Detective murder accused Peter Foster appears in court

Heather Cooper
Image caption Heather Cooper worked in the Public Protection Investigation Unit of Surrey Police

A former detective accused of murdering his partner, a 33-year-old police officer, at their Surrey home has made his first crown court appearance.

Heather Cooper, who served with Surrey Police, was killed by a blow to the head and a stab wound to the throat.

Her body was found in woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex, on Sunday.

Peter Foster, 35, of West Street, Haslemere, was remanded in custody by Lewes Crown Court until a plea hearing on 10 February 2012.

'Loved life'

In a statement released through Surrey Police, Ms Cooper's family said she was a "much-loved daughter, sister and granddaughter, as well as a devoted mother to her children".

"She loved life and she lived it to the full," the statement said.

It added that she "was extremely proud to serve as a police officer, often going above and beyond in her duty, and her dedication and professionalism was recognised and commended".

Ms Cooper, a mother of two, served as a detective constable in the Public Protection Investigation Unit based at Guildford police station.

She was originally from York and had been on maternity leave at the time of her death.

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