Killer facing life term after being found guilty of murdering Hartlepool man Lee Cooper

A second defendant has been found guilty of the murder of Hartlepool man Lee Cooper.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 11:56 am
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 12:59 pm
Neil Maxwell (left) and Luke Pearson will be sentenced for the murder of Hartlepool man Lee Cooper. Pictures: Cleveland Police

Luke Pearson, now 19, has been found guilty by a jury of murder and a seperate secion 47 assault on a different person.

The jury started deliberations on Friday afternoon and have this morning found Pearson guilty.

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

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He denied murdering 43-year-old Hartlepool man Lee Cooper in Stockton last year but has admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Pearson, of Westbourne Street, Stockton and stood trial alongside Neil Maxwell, 40, of Lytton Court, North Ormesby.

Maxwell originally denied murder, but admitted killing Lee Cooper and apologised to his family.

The judge said he is planning to sentence both on Thursday.

They are remanded in custody in the meantime.

Pearson, 19, of Westbourne Street, Stockton, appeared to cry in the dock as the verdict was read out to the court.

The judge said: “Both must receive life sentences and it is up to me to fix the mandatory tariff.”