A KILLER on trial for the murder of his teenage nephew was branded a bully in court – by his own mother.
Alan Cooper knifed his sister’s 14-year-old son Jordan Cooper nine times after a row over a mobile phone, a court was told.
Jordan’s maternal grandmother Susan Smith witnessed the horrifying attack, which happened in her home and had desperately tried to save her grandson.
Cooper, 32, of Newriggs, Washington, Wearside, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Giving evidence from behind a screen which shielded her from seeing her son in the dock, Mrs Smith told jurors Cooper had a history of behavioural problems dating back to when he was very young.
She told the court Cooper would bully his older brother, was constantly in trouble at school and was frequently in bother with the police.
Mrs Smith said Cooper had a history of violence towards women and would behave worse when he had had a drink.
She told jurors: “He was quite a naughty child. He would bully his older brother.
“From quite an early age he was a boisterous baby and walked quite early.
“It carried on when he went to school.
“I was called into the school about him bullying other children and taking their dinner money. He gradually got worse.”
Mrs Smith told the court how even as an adult Cooper beat up his brother, who was a year older than him, and frequently turned his anger and violence towards those closest to him.
The court heard in early 2010 Cooper made a suicide attempt and was hospitalised.
Later that year he moved back in with his mum after he was badly beaten up and suffered a head injury.
At the time Cooper was facing jail for an attack on his partner.
Mrs Smith said during his visits to doctors and specialists Cooper used his problems to try and get a lesser sentence for the assault.
She said: “He said if they thought he was ill that he might not get a longer sentence. It might lessen the sentence.”
Mrs Smith said Cooper told lies to the doctors about not wanting to go out on his own and not wanting to be in crowds and would not take the medication he was given.
She said he was a completely different person when he had had a drink and was a “loveable lad” when he was sober.
Mrs Smith said: “I thought he loved his family.”
When asked what Cooper was like once he had had a drink, she said: “The opposite”.