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Sandwell man convicted of woman's murder

A Sandwell man who stabbed his partner of 20 years following an argument has been convicted of her murder and jailed.

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Ronald Cooke, aged 55, attacked Tina Billingham at their home in Granville Road, Cradley Heath, on February 6, 2017, before driving her in his van to their local doctor’s surgery 

Unemployed Cooke dragged injured 54-year-old Tina from his van into the surgery in Hawes Lane, claiming she had stabbed herself during a domestic row.

She was treated by medical staff at Rowley Healthcare, but despite their best efforts she was confirmed dead at hospital later that afternoon.

A post mortem confirmed the mother-of-two died as a result of stab wounds to the chest and stomach area.

Cooke was arrested by officers, but initially claimed his partner of 20 years had harmed herself.

However, investigating officers found that Cooke’s relationship with Tina had been abusive and controlling.

On the day of the murder, neighbours heard Ronald Cooke shouting and arguing before she saw Cooke walk down the drive to his transit van and shout at Tina to get in the passenger side. He then drove to the surgery and pulled his partner out of the van, bleeding heavily from stab injuries. He told medical staff she had stabbed herself following an argument.

Today, (Thursday 17 August) Cooke was convicted of murder at Wolverhampton Crown Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 24 years.

Detective Inspector Harry Harrison from the force’s homicide unit, said: “Cooke was clearly a bully and was the root cause of an awful lot of misery in Tina’s life, arrogant to the end he has shown no remorse.  Men with his character traits have no place in a civilised society, he has now rightly been brought to justice.”

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