First picture of farmer who murdered his estranged wife by shooting her in the neck

Andrew Hooper (pictured) is set to be sentenced this afternoon for murdering his estranged wife 

The ‘jealous’ farmer who murdered his estranged wife in front of her daughter before he then turned the shotgun on himself in a botched attempt to take his own life has been jailed for 31 years. 

Andrew Hooper, who survived the suicide attempt but suffered horrific facial injuries and lost the ability to speak, showed no emotion as he was unanimously convicted of murder at Birmingham Crown Court. 

The 46-year-old had attacked Cheryl Hooper, 51, outside her home in Newport, Shropshire, in January last year, shooting her in the arm and the throat with an antique shotgun after being ‘consumed with anger’.  

Hooper, known as Jack, had ‘murder in his eyes’ when he deliberately shot his wife prosecutors said.

He deliberately shot her in the neck from about 1.5 metres away because he was ‘consumed with anger and jealousy’ after she left him at the end of 2017, and was ‘tipped over the edge’ after discovering she was in a sexual relationship with Ian Preece who she had met at an organised shoot at Hooper’s farm.

Hooper shot her dead in front of his step-daughter Georgia, 14, while she sat in her Land Rover Evoque outside her home in Newport, Shropshire, on January 26 last year.

He then drove home where he wrote a suicide note to his son accusing Cheryl of ‘cheating’ before shooting himself in the head.  

Hooper had denied murder claiming he was trying to scare Cheryl when the gun accidentally went off.

Cheryl Hooper (pictured with her daughter, Georgia) was murdered by Hooper, who then shot himself but survived

Cheryl Hooper (pictured with her daughter, Georgia) was murdered by Hooper, who then shot himself but survived 

The shotgun Hooper used to shoot his estranged wife, before he attempted to take his own life with the weapon

The shotgun Hooper used to shoot his estranged wife, before he attempted to take his own life with the weapon

But a jury of seven women and five men took five hours to return a guilty verdict today following a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Following the verdict, it emerged that Hooper was given a suspended sentence in 2004 after breaking into his first wife’s home and threatening to kill her.  

Georgia Hooper’s full impact statement: 

 ‘On January 26 2018 my life got turned upside down. 

‘I never imagined my life without my mum. Mum and I were inseparable, we were a team and we did everything together.

‘Mum was funny, beautiful and my best friend, the thought of her not being with me to share my life makes me very sad. 

‘I relied on her for everything – she was my world and I was hers.’ 

Cheryl’s grieving parents Tony and Rita said: ‘We cannot fully express the sorrow, sadness and pain of losing our beautiful daughter Cheryl in such dreadful circumstances.

‘Cheryl was a wonderful daughter, mother, sister and friend; she was beautiful both inside and out – full of kindness to everyone she came into contact with.

‘As her family, we shared a wonderful close bond with her, she was so special, loving and caring in every way and we miss her every single day.

‘Cheryl was a true Christian and it was typical of her to put others before herself.’

Prosecutor David Mason QC had told the court: ‘This defendant, after they had separated, broke into her house one night armed with a knife and surgical gloves, and threatened to kill her and her new partner.

‘That’s the only conviction he has. He was prosecuted for aggravated burglary but in fact pleaded guilty to an affray and received a suspended sentence.’

Mrs Hooper’s daughter Georgia, who was 14 at the time and witnessed the shooting, read a victim impact statement to the court, saying that her ‘whole life has gone’, and describing her mother as her ‘best friend’.  

After the statement, Judge Mark Wall QC told the teenager: ‘The way in which you have conducted yourself throughout this trial – which must have been extremely difficult for you – has been admirable and awe-inspiring.

‘Your mother would, I have no doubt, been immensely proud of the way you have dealt with a tragic and difficult process.’  

Sentencing Hooper, Judge Wall said the murder had been a ‘planned execution’.

He told Hopper: ‘The sentence that I must pass on you is one that you richly deserve – life imprisonment.

‘This was not a spur-of-the-moment killing, it was one that you had planned in the hours leading up to it.

‘You have not expressed any remorse or regret after leaving a horrific aftermath when you fled the scene.

‘This was not a last-minute decision to kill you arrived at outside Cheryl’s, but rather a planned execution.’

Judge Wall told the killer that Georgia had noted the ‘look of hatred’ in his eyes, and that one of the ‘few truths’ Hooper had given in his evidence was that he was a ‘jealous man’.   

‘From the moment you suspected her of having an affair, you became obsessed with proving it,’ the judge added. ‘You bought a tracking device, took her car from her drive and fitted the device to it. You then tracked her every movement on your computer.

Pictured: Police at the scene of the murder after Cheryl Hooper died in a shotgun attack outside her own home

Pictured: Police at the scene of the murder after Cheryl Hooper died in a shotgun attack outside her own home 

‘There are several aggravating factors: this was a planned killing. It was carried out in front of your 14-year-old step-daughter who you knew to be there and watching. Anyone who at 14 has to watch the killing will find it even more difficult to come to terms with. 

‘Finally you have a relevant previous conviction that happened after the break-up of your previous marriage. In your jealousy on that occasion you broke into the house where your ex-wife and new boyfriend were living armed with and knife and threatened them.

‘That should have been a warning as to where your jealous nature might lead you but apparently it was not.’

Judge Wall said there was little mitigation that could be offered in Hooper’s case, adding that his intention was to kill, but he did not plead guilty.

He added:  ‘You have injuries that will make your time in prison more difficult for you to cope with than would be the case for an able-bodied man but these injuries are deliberately self-inflicted after the event.’ 

The trial had heard how the couple had been married for 18 months but Mrs Hooper moved out because of her husband’s ‘controlling’ behaviour.

In the months before the couple separated, Mrs Hooper sent a string of text messages to her friend saying she was scared of her husband.

One read: ‘Fearing your loved one is not right,’ while another said: ‘I feel fear when I go in the farmhouse.

‘It was my home and now I feel scared of it.’

On the night of the murder, Hooper followed Cheryl to a pub in nearby Tettenhall before confronting her with Mr Preece.

After an angry confrontation, where Hooper was heard calling Mr Preece a ‘f***ing b*stard’, he drove home.

Twenty minutes later, Hooper was caught on CCTV at his farm carrying what appeared to be a shotgun into the back of his car.

Police are pictured at the home of Cheryl Hooper after her husband murdered her outside the house with a shotgun

Police are pictured at the home of Cheryl Hooper after her husband murdered her outside the house with a shotgun 

He then drove five miles to Cheryl’s home in Farmer’s Gate Road where he waited for her to return before shooting her through the front passenger window.

Shocked neighbours rushed to help after hearing Georgia screaming: ‘He’s shot my mum,’ but despite paramedics dashing to the scene, Cheryl died at the scene.

After police found Hooper lying with gun shot wounds to his head, he was rushed to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital where it was another eight months before he was well enough to be quizzed by police.

Police did not take a mugshot photograph of Hooper at the time of his arrest, due to his extensive injuries. 

Speaking after the guilty verdict was delivered, Detective Inspector Mark Bellamy, from West Mercia Police’s Major Investigation Unit, described Mrs Hooper as a  ‘devoted loving, mum, daughter and friend to her family and all those who knew her.’

He added: ‘Tragically she was murdered by her controlling and jealous husband in a pre-meditated act of the most savage violence.

‘Hooper continued his controlling and cowardly behaviour by refusing to acknowledge his actions and forcing a young girl, traumatised by the incident, to give evidence at a Crown Court trial.

‘I hope Hooper spends the rest of his life reflecting on the devastation that he has caused.’