Brothers accused of killing Sameena Imam ‘used Star Wars code’

Sameena Imam, 34. Photo credit: West Midlands Police

Sameena Imam, 34. Photo credit: West Midlands Police - Credit: Archant

Two brothers accused of murdering a Costco marketing chief used Star Wars-related code phrases to communicate before her disappearance, a jury has heard.

Roger and David Cooper are alleged to have used references to Darth Vader and the Death Star space station to update each other on the progress of an aborted “mission” against former Loxford High School pupil, Sameena Imam.

Prosecutors claim Costco store manager Roger, 41, murdered Ms Imam on Christmas Eve with the help of his 39-year-old brother.

Roger, of Tilehurst Drive, Coventry, and David, of Hughenden Drive, Leicester, both deny murder.

The Crown alleges Ms Imam, 34, was murdered after she formed a relationship with Roger and issued an ultimatum for him to leave his long-term partner.

She was reported missing after failing to attend a family gathering in Ilford on Boxing Day.

During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court this week prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC told jurors that a plan against Ms Imam was “frustrated” on December 11.

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He said text messages sent between the men read “Stay on target, stay on target” and “You are expected Vader”.

Alleging that the plan was abandoned after Ms Imam arrived to meet Roger at a Premier Inn in Solihull, Mr Spencer said: “We suggest that (the text messages) are code that both men understand.”

Ms Imam lived in Cardiff and worked as marketing manager at four Costco stores.

She is alleged to have been killed within hours of leaving the firm’s Coventry branch at about 4pm on Christmas Eve and being driven to Leicester by Roger Cooper.

Her father broke down in court and had to be comforted by another family member as CCTV of his daughter shopping on December 24 was shown to the court.

The images showed Ms Imam, who had pre-paid £430 to book herself and Roger Cooper into a Birmingham hotel on Christmas Eve, buying chocolate and a bottle of a Bellini at a branch of Marks & Spencer in Coventry.

The trial continues.