[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Man murdered over child sex slur
Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper was found in his flat with serious injuries
A man who was wrongly accused of being a paedophile was stabbed to death in a brutal and prolonged attack, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court has heard.

Paul Cooper, 42, of Walton Road in Heywood, Greater Manchester, was found dead at his flat on 18 March.

Neil Read, 23, of Higher Lomax Lane in Heywood, was deemed unfit to plead earlier this week.

On Friday he was ordered to go to Ashworth high security hospital, where he will be held in a psychiatric unit.

He is to be held without limit of time.

There is no evidence to suggest that Paul was ever involved in any sexual offence
Det Ch Insp Jeff McMahon

Read attacked and killed Mr Cooper after becoming fixated with the idea he had been indecently assaulted by him when he was a child.

Det Ch Insp Jeff McMahon said: "Paul and Read knew each other from years earlier.

"We have never received any allegation that Paul indecently assaulted Read at any time.

"There is no evidence to suggest that Paul was ever involved in any sexual offence.

"He had never been arrested, questioned or convicted of any crime of a sexual nature.

"Neil Read had, over a prolonged period of time, persuaded a number of people in the community that Paul Cooper, and others in the area, were sex offenders. "Many of those he spoke to believed him and this misinformation hampered our investigation in its early stages."




SEE ALSO
Man appears in court over murder
23 Mar 05 |  Manchester

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific