The last words ever spoken by one Richard Cooper to his unfaithful wife Theresa.
Richard Cooper was a forty year old a railway conductor from the town of Tonbridge in Kent, England who has been married to his wife Theresa for some two years. The marriage seemed to have had its difficulties and Mrs Cooper left and went to live at her own flat in nearby Gillingham. A reconciliation appeared to be in the offing but Mr Cooper became suspicous that his wife had resumed an affair with a Sevenoaks postman Christopher Sindall, one of her former lovers.
In order to discover the truth Mr Cooper purchased a voice-activated Dictaphone which he secreted in a strategic location at his wife's flat. (taped to the underside of a table . When the opportunity presented itself, Mr Cooper would switch tapes in the machine and retire to a convenient location to find out what Mrs Cooper had been up to whilst his back was turned.
Sitting in the pub one night listening to the latest recording he became angry when he heard the unmistakable sounds of his wife and Mr Sindall "engaged in a sex act" (Memo to those unfamiliar with British media speak; references to "a sex act" generally mean a blowjob)
Enraged by this Mr Cooper went to confront his wife. It was unfortunate for Mr Cooper that it was at this point in time that he entirley forgot about the voice activated Dictaphone that he had hidden away, as it naturally kicked into action. It is the availability this tape recording of the next twenty three minutes of his life that enables us to say, with a fair degree of certainty, that during the ensuing row Mr Cooper called his wife a "bitch" and "slag", and that she responded with alternate shouts of defiance and pleas to left alone.
The tape ends with the sound of Mrs Cooper's heels knocking against the floor as Mr Cooper strangled her to death and announced her departure to the next world with the famous words "You are the weakest link. Goodbye."(Although according to Mr Cooper his wife's last words, in reference to her lover, were: "Chris, I will always love you"; presumably uttered sotto voce as he was strangling the life out of her.)
At his subsequent trial in February 2002 at Maidstone County Court Mr Cooper pleaded not guilty to murder. And who can blame him? There has, after all been a steady procession of spouses who have done away with their other halves and appeared before the British courts, protesting their innocence of the crime of murder on the grounds of some pecularity of behaviour by their now deceased partner and departing from the courtroom with a slap on the wrist and a smile on their face.
But it is not often that a jury is presented with a blow by blow live recording of the dirty deed itself, which no doubt brought home to all the hard reality that someone had actually died. (Neither did it help that on dialling 999 and calling on the emergency services that he had announced "I'm evil. I'll meet you by the door.")
The jury convicted him. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Which no doubt means that Mr Cooper will be out in five.