A KILLER on trial for the murder of his teenage nephew will not be going into the witness box to give evidence in his own defence.
Alan Cooper has admitted he killed 14-year-old Jordan Cooper by stabbing him nine times after a row at their home in Fatfield, Washington, on February 28.
The 32-year-old has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court for murder, which he denies.
At the close of the prosecution’s case yesterday, jurors were told Cooper would not be called as a witness by his defence team.
His barrister Alastair MacDonald, QC, said: “The defendant will not give evidence.”
In response, Judge John Milford asked him: “Have you advised your client that the stage has now been reached at which he may give evidence?
“If he chooses not to do so, or having been sworn, without good cause, refuses to answer any questions, the jury may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to do so?”
Mr MacDonald confirmed Cooper had been given the warning.
Jurors heard Cooper spent more than two months in Sunderland’s Cherry Knowle psychiatric hospital following a suicide bid in May last year.
After his stay, he was diagnosed as having a personality disorder and depressive illness.
Cooper’s defence team claim he was suffering an abnormality of mind at the time he killed Jordan, which diminished his responsibility for what he did.
Prosecutors reject Cooper’s defence and say he was simply a “man inclined to be bad tempered and aggressive when he had taken drink”.
At the time he killed Jordan, Cooper was awaiting sentence for an attack on his girlfriend which left her with a perforated bowel and swelling to the brain.