David Cook guilty of Leonard Hill murder


A man who claimed he killed his neighbour during a temporary loss of control, has been found guilty of murder by a jury at Newport Crown Court.

David Cook had admitted to killing Leonard Hill at his flat in Rhymney, but claimed his actions amounted to manslaughter rather than murder.

Mr Hill had been beaten, tied up and strangled. After the killing, Cook went into his neighbour's home and stole his wallet and other belongings. Cook was said to be in financial difficulties at the time.

During the trial, the court also heard that Cook had been released from prison on life licence in 2009, having previously been convicted of murder in 1988.

Claire Burton, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said:

"David Cook has been convicted of a most horrific and violent murder.

"Leonard Hill was a quiet, non-confrontational and unassuming man who posed no threat to anyone - least of all David Cook. His murder was the calculated act of a callous and brutal attacker.

"I would like to pay tribute to the excellent investigation work carried out by Gwent Police on this case. Their thorough approach enabled us to build an extremely strong prosecution case against David Cook, leading to today's conviction.

"Whilst we welcome the fact that David Cook has been brought to justice, we should not forget that the family and those close to Leonard Hill, as well as all those affected by the actions of David Cook, will have to live with the consequences for years to come. Our thoughts are with them."