‘I’m really scared’: Jurors watch victim’s plea to police over handyman accused of double murder

Carl Cooper is accused of killing Fiona Holm (left), 48, and Naomi Hunte, 41 (right) (Metropolitan Police/Facebook)
Carl Cooper is accused of killing Fiona Holm (left), 48, and Naomi Hunte, 41 (right) (Metropolitan Police/Facebook)

Jurors were shown the moment a murder victim told police she was being stalked and was “really scared” of her alleged killer.

Police bodyworn footage showed police repeatedly visiting Naomi Hunte, 41, at home as she complained that Carl Cooper was harassing her before she was killed.

In one call-out on 24 November 2020, she told officers: “I think he is obsessed with me. He told me he really likes me. I told him, I just want to be friends. He was angered at that.”

Another clip played to Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday, Ms Hunte told two officers the handyman had turned up at her home uninvited and shouted abuse through the front door.

Speaking to officers at her flat in Woolwich, southeast London, on 29 June 2021, she said: “He’s been coming to my house ringing my phone and now this time he’s kicked the front door. He was shouting outside calling me all sorts of derogatory names.”

She added: “He stalks me. He has been stalking me. I am really scared now. I had to knock on a neighbour’s door.”

She told officers it was the third time she had contacted them about Cooper, adding that although she had slept with him they were not in a relationship.

Ms Hunte complained to police yet again four months later when she told officers she was worried about what could happen if she were left alone with him after he had lost his temper when she refused sex, the court heard.

The following Valentine’s Day she was found dead by a neighbour on her blood-soaked sofa after being stabbed with a serrated knife.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be a stab wound to the chest. She had also drunk alcohol and taken drugs including cocaine and cannabis.

The prosecution allege she was killed by Cooper, who was “jealous and controlling”, four days earlier on 10 February 2022.

Carl Cooper is standing trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south London (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)
Carl Cooper is standing trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south London (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

Despite being the “obvious suspect” in Ms Hunte’s murder, he was released under investigation. Her blood was later found on several different areas of Cooper’s jacket.

He is accused of killing yet again 15 months later after another woman he had a relationship with, Fiona Holm, 48, disappeared without a trace on 20 June 2023.

Ms Holm was last seen on CCTV at an off licence near Cooper’s home address in Catford at 10.48pm, while her bank card was used to withdraw £40 nearby at 11.11pm.

Her body has never been found, but police later discovered traces of her blood on the walls, door and wifi router in Cooper’s living room.

The handyman, 66, denies murdering both women.

Narita Bahra KC, defending, told the jury on Wednesday: “You can’t convict a man based solely on him being the obvious police suspect. This is an exceptionally unusual case.”

She urged jurors not to “jump to conclusions” and to keep an open mind.

“Are we even sure that Fiona Holm is dead and if you are sure, then you will have to go on to consider who is responsible for the killing,” she added.

The court previously heard how Ms Holm, was alcohol dependent, autistic and had ADHD, had also complained about to police about Cooper before she went missing.

“This defendant attaches himself to vulnerable women, and he mistreats them,” prosecutor Joel Smith KC said when he opened the case on Tuesday.

“He is a man with a predilection to control women – particularly the two deceased women – and prone to violence when challenged. He is, in short, a callous bully and a killer.”

He added that Cooper lit fires in the days after Ms Holm’s disappearance before undertaking a “wholesale redecoration” of his living room, which included stripping off wallpaper, cutting out net curtains and removing a rug.

Cooper denies two counts of murder. The trial, scheduled to last four weeks, continues.