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Murderer of York woman found hanging in cell


3:41pm 30th July 2012
(Updated 4:48pm 30th July 2012)

The man who murdered Surrey Police Officer Heather Cooper, who was formally from York, has been found hanging in his prison cell.

Peter Foster was jailed for at least 17 years for Heather's murder last month.

It's just emerged that the ex-police detective was found hanging in his cell at Lewes Prison at 3am today.

Prison staff apparently tried to resusitate him, but he was pronounced dead at 3.25am.

The 36 year old was jailed last month for Heather's brutal murder.

The mother of two, who originally lived in York, was on maternity leave at the time of her death.

Her body was found in a shallow grave in woodland near Haslemere.

A prison service spokeswoman said the independent Prisons and Probations Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.

While Surrey Police have told us they are aware of the death.

PICTURED: Peter Foster


Details from the Prison Service

A former detective jailed for life for murdering his partner and fellow officer whose body was discovered in a shallow woodland grave in West Sussex has been found hanged in his cell.

Peter Foster's death at Lewes Prison in East Sussex comes just three days after a man who knifed his controlling stepfather to death was found hanged at the same jail.

Foster, a 36 year old former detective constable, was jailed for life and told he must serve at least 17 years at Lewes Crown Court last month after admitting murdering his partner.

Foster stabbed Detective Constable Heather Cooper, 33, before dumping her body in Blackdown Woods, near Lurgashall, West Sussex, in October last year.

Foster's death comes after Nathan Vaughan-Jones, who stabbed his stepfather to death after a long-running family feud boiled over, was found hanged at the same prison on Friday night.

The 34 year old had been jailed for 11 years in March after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 63 year old Nigel Ross on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Vaughan-Jones stabbed Mr Ross 41 times in the garden of his sister's home in Mill Lane, South Chailey, near Lewes, East Sussex, on March 29th last year.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said:

"HMP Lewes prisoner Peter Foster was found hanging in a cell at 3am on Monday July 30.

"Prison staff tried to resuscitate him and paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at 3.25am.

"As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

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