Man is ‘sorry’ for killing Lee Cooper

An ex-factory worker has admitted killing a Hartlepool man in a violent attack in December last year.

By Michael Drummond
Monday, 10 June, 2019, 17:28
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Neil Maxwell, 40, told his murder trial that he went ‘berserk’ and killed 43-year-old Lee Cooper in Stockton.

However Maxwell, of Lytton Court, North Ormesby, said he did not intend to kill him and he was ‘gutted for the lad and his family’.

Lee Cooper

Maxwell said: “I just want to say sorry to the family and to my own family.”

He is on trial at Teesside Crown Court charged with murder, alongside Luke Pearson, 19, of Westbourne Street, Stockton.

Both deny murdering Mr Cooper in Westbourne Street in a fight about 7am on December 23.

Giving evidence in his defence this afternoon, Maxwell said Mr Cooper had attacked his friend and he wanted to send a message.

He told the jury: “I did mean to cause him a bit of grief but I did not want to kill no-body, he didn’t deserve to be dead.”

Maxwell said that left a hostel in Westbourne Street and encountered Mr Cooper and two other men armed with weapons.

He said: “I just went berserk. If I don’t do something here they are going to murder me.”

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Pearson gave him a knife and Maxwell also wrestled a hammer from Cooper, he told the court.

“I hit him in the head with it – three whacks in the head. Put him out straight away.

“I was angry, a bit of a frenzy.

“I know it’s no consolation I just want to say sorry to the family and to my own family. I think it’s a disgrace to be honest with you.

“Whatever happens I deserve what I get.”

He admitted taking painkillers, cannabis, spice and Valium and said that he cannot remember large parts of what happened.

Prosecutor Nick Dry suggested Maxwell had a ‘selective memory’ and asked if he was making it up as he went along.

Maxwell said this was not the case.

The trial continues.