A man convicted for his part in the death of a West Bromwich man has had his sentence increased by four and half years following an appeal by West Midlands Police.
Colin Raymond Cooke, aged 62, was jailed in May this year after he was convicted of conspiracy to rob and assisting an offender in connection with the death of 64-year-old Ronald Smith at his West Bromwich home on 6 May 2015.
He was originally sentenced to serve seven years in prison.
Yesterday (Thursday) officers travelled to the Royal Courts of Justice in London to appeal against the sentence, which was quashed and a new jail term given of 10 years for conspiracy to rob and 18 months for assisting an offender to run consecutively- a total of 11 and a half years in prison.
Colin Cooke’s son, Paul Cooke, was jailed for almost 30 years in September 2016 after admitting fatally stabbing Ronald Smith, the day after he was released from prison.
His other son Colin Cooke Jnr was jailed for 30 months after being found guilty of assisting an offender.
Ronald Cooke’s body was discovered at his home in Cottage walk four weeks after his death after neighbours raised the alarm. Cooke had killed Mr Smith before stealing £600 cash and locking the door with a key as he made off in the hope the body would remain undetected.
Officers were however convinced 34-year old Cooke didn’t act alone and further enquiries led detectives to arrest his father Colin Cooke, a friend of Ronald Smith and his brother Colin Cooke in connection with the robbery.
Detective Sergeant Angela Baggott from the force’s homicide unit, said: “Officers felt the sentence originally given to Cooke was unduly lenient and we are pleased that the Judge at today’s hearing has recognised this.”
DS Baggott has also renewed her appeal for help in tracing another person that police believe was involved in the fatal attack and stressed the murder case remains open.
She said: “This investigation is still live: we know another offender was present at the time and I urge anyone with information that could help us identify this person to come forward.
“Innocent people can be eliminated from our enquiries through forensic evidence found at the scene − and indeed my officers have already spoken to and ruled out almost 250 people. Someone out there knows who else was involved and I would ask them to look into their conscience and provide a name.
“Paul Cooke has been told he will spend almost 30 years behind bars… but he should not be serving this murder sentence alone.
“The search for the second person continues and I would urge anyone who suspects someone they know was involved in this killing to call West Midlands Police. Mr Smith’s family will not have complete closure until that person is found.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the force’s Investigation Review Team on the 101 number, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111
Source:: West Midlands Police News