Trial Date Set

A provisional date was fixed today for the trial of a former police detective charged with murdering his partner whose body was found dumped in woodland.

Peter Foster, 35, is accused of killing Detective Constable Heather Cooper, 33, at their home in West Street, Haslemere, Surrey.

The body of Miss Cooper, a mother-of-two, was found by police in Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex, in October last year.

A post-mortem examination found she died from a blow to the head and a stab wound to the throat.

At Lewes Crown Court in Foster's absence, Judge Richard Brown set a provisional date for a trial lasting up to four weeks from June 11. A plea hearing will be held on April 4.

Miss Cooper was described by her family as a ``much-loved daughter, sister and granddaughter'' in a statement released following her death through Surrey Police, for whom she had worked since 2003.

Miss Cooper, who worked in the Public Protection Investigation Unit based at Guildford police station, was on maternity leave at the time of her death.

Her family described her as a ``wonderful mother'' who ``lived life to the full''.

Foster is in custody.

southern strike map RMT Southern Rail Strike

Southern Railway workers stage final day of a 72-hour walkout today in the bitter dispute over the role of conductors, with further industrial action planned.

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