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Ice addict handed lesser sentence for pleading guilty to murder of elderly war veteran

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 4 days ago Jayde Vincent

Ken Handford was stabbed in the back. © Victoria Police Ken Handford was stabbed in the back. Jonathon Cooper stabbed an elderly war veteran to death, then stole his money and war medals. 

Today, he was handed a significant discount on his sentence for pleading guilty to murder and for offering to testify against his co-accused Adam Williamson.

Ken Handford's distraught family was visibly gutted as Supreme Court Justice Jane Dixon sentenced Cooper to 16 years jail, with a minimum term of 13 years.

Armed with a knife, Cooper and Williamson broke into the 90-year old's-cottage in Springbank, Victoria, in September 2015. 

Williamson believed Mr Handford kept up to $30,000 in cash on the premises, because he didn't trust banks.

The ice addicted criminals planned to rob the elderly man while he slept, but Cooper hit him with a torch while rummaging through his bedroom.

The court heard they then gagged and tied him up and under the misguided belief Mr Handford was a pedophile, Cooper stabbed him 13 times in the back.

In sentencing, Justice Jane Dixon reiterated, "He wasn't a pedophile, he was a decent, law abiding man."

The victim was left tied up on the floor, he died almost 5 hours after the attack.

The heartless thugs made off with almost $4000 in cash and jewellery. 

Mr Handford's body was discovered on the day of his 90th birthday, the Judge noting "it should have been a day of celebration, instead it was a day marked by sadness."

If not for Cooper's guilty plea and offer to turn police informer, he would have been sentenced to 27 years behind bars.

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