A friend of Laura Stuart, the Denbigh mother said to have been stabbed to death by her former partner Jason Cooper, told a murder trial jury that the defendant was controlling and had sent messages to her threatening to kill her.

Prosecuting witness Angharad Carter said she had known Laura for a few years but only got close in the last year and a half.

Her father was the licensee of The Golden Lion public house in Denbigh, where she also worked.

She was aware that Laura was in a relationship with Jason Cooper which she believed was controlling.


He wanted to know where she had been and said Laura would keep general receipts to show him what she had bought and when.

Laura, she said, showed her recordings on her phone of arguments they were having.

There was name calling towards Laura, names that insulted her including “slag” and “whore”.

She was aware the relationship had come to an end some three month before she died, she said in answer to questions by prosecuting barrister David Elias QC.

Miss Carter said that on Sunday August 6 she was in the pub with Laura.

Cooper arrived, ordered his drink, he went to the pool table and said “nice people this side, whores and liars that side” and pointed to where she was.

When Laura came back in from having a cigarette Cooper was making comments of the same kind, she said.

They left and went to The Plough public house before going back to the Golden Lion.

Cooper was still there and he carried on with the name calling.

It was loud and everybody else in the pub could hear.

Her father asked him to finish his pint and leave.

As he left, he got change from his pocket and threw it to her feet and said ”that is all your worth”.

Laura got quite emotional which was the first time she had seen her get upset and cry.

The next day she saw messages Laura had received from Jason, which she said were quite aggressive. He was not happy and there was one message saying he wanted to kill a man named Emyr Jones.

Laura said basically he was threatening her and she would deal with that.

But when he threatened to kill someone else then she would have to do something about it.

Laura called the police at that stage.

Miss Carter said that Cooper had threatened to put naked photographs, taken when they were in a relationship, online.

On Friday August 11, Miss Carter said she was working that night in the pub.

Laura was there and was initially ok but later on Cooper came into the pub later.

He was very angry, she said.

Cooper stared at her for a few minutes. “I don’t know what was said, but something was said, and James Brown stepped in,” she said.

Her father told Cooper he was barred and that he was not allowed in.

There was some scuffling and Laura got up and tried to pull James away.

Within five or ten minutes the situation was resolved with Cooper outside and James Brown and Laura inside the pub.

Miss Carter said that half an hour after he left Laura received messages off Jason.

“My dad asked her to send the messages to me so that they could be printed off and sent to Pub Watch,” she said.

They started off with Jason being angry at James Brown and he said on one message “I am not fighting, I am going down for murder.”

Laura received a message saying “run” and that he was going to kill her.

She saw the messages and Laura seemed quite frightened, and was quite worked up, said Miss Carter.

When told the messages would get printed off and put on pub watch she seemed relieved that finally something was going to get done about the threatening messages she was receiving.

They remained in the pub until the early hours but Miss Carter said she left at about 1.30 a.m. to stay with a friend.

She found out what had happened the next day.

Cross examined by Patrick Harrington QC, defending, said Cooper appeared annoyed that Laura was getting on with her life.

“He was angry. To me, it was as if he was annoyed and angry that the relationship was over and he did not like how she carried on, going out with friends and carried on going to work.

Paul Carter, landlord of The Golden Lion said Laura Stuart was a “regular” at the pub.

Cooper was barred but returned on August 11.

He was in his way to tell Cooper to leave as he saw him and James Brown having an altercation.

Mr Carter said he was told of abusive and threatening messages sent by Cooper to Laura and suggested if they were printed out he would take them to the next pub watch meeting.

“He could have been barred from all the bars in a Denbigh,” he said.

James Brown said he was talking to Laura in pub. He had known her for years as a friend.

Cooper was implying that “because I was speaking to Laura, that I was making a move” on her, which he was not.

Mr Brown said that he offered him out. But there was no fight or blows between them and he had a cigarette and returned to the pub where he had a few more drinks.

The prosecution say Cooper brutally stabbed his former partner with a kitchen knife after he lay in wait for her as she returned home from The Golden Lion.

Cooper. 28 of St Hilary's Terrace, denies the murder of Laura Jayne Stuart, 33, a mother of two, and wounding David Roberts with intent to cause him GBH, in August of last year.

Laura Stuart’s mother Mrs Elizabeth Griffiths said that the defendant Cooper had been controlling towards her daughter.

She told the jury that he would put her thumb on her phone when she was asleep in order to open it so that he could look at her messages.

Laura, she said, had then changed the phone so that it opened with retinal recognition.

He daughter received messages from Cooper after they split and they got worse when he realised she was not going back to him.

She said:  “He didn’t like her having friends never mind relationships with men.”

Mrs Griffiths confirmed that there had been allegations that Cooper assaulted Laura outside the RAF club in Denbigh when she suffered injuries to her thigh and shoulder. But she did not press charges.

On another occasion, he threw a plate of dinner which hit Laura causing a cut which bled.

That, she said, occurred about six weeks before she died.

Cooper sent messages to Laura pleading with her to go back to him, saying “. I love you, I love you.”

Mrs Griffiths said that her daughter would call her and leave the phone on so that she could hear the arguments.

On one occasion she went around to their home because he was so aggressive, she said.

He would not let Laura open the door properly.

Laura, one of six children, was a former pupil of Brynhyfryd School in Ruthin, and  started a relationship with Cooper around two years before her death.

Prosecution witness Stuart Olding, a family friend, told how he had seen a message which Cooper had sent to Laura - a photograph of a silver steel knife on the kitchen floor.
The message read “this is what you have driven me too.”

Mr Olding said it was serious and told her she should seek police protection

But Laura told him she had been to the police and they had said Cooper did not have a case to answer..

The trial, before Mr Justice Simon Picken, is proceeding.