A Costco manager killed one of his three lovers on Christmas Eve with the help of his brother, a court has heard.
Roger Cooper, 41, is alleged to have decided to Sameena Imam “out of his life” after she issued him with an ultimatum to leave his long-term partner.
Ms Imam, who lived in Cardiff and worked at Costco outlets in the Welsh capital as well as in Coventry, Southampton and Bristol – was reported missing after failing to attend a family gathering in Essex on Boxing Day last year, Wales Online reports.
The Crown alleges that Cooper, the manager of Costco’s Coventry warehouse, believed he would be sacked if Ms Imam, the store’s marketing chief, exposed their affair.
Cooper, of Tile Hurst Drive, Coventry, is standing trial alongside his brother David Cooper, 38, of Hughenden Drive, Leicester.
Both men deny murder.
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told Roger Cooper may claim to have travelled to Leicester to pick up a Star Wars figure as a present from his brother.
Opening the case against the two men, prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC said: “He did pick (the Star Wars figure) up but we say the reality of that journey is that it had a much more sinister motive.
“It was really about what was going to happen to Sameena Imam.”
CCTV footage played to the jury showed Ms Imam and Roger Cooper leaving Costco’s Coventry branch within minutes of each other at about 4pm on December 24 last year.
The Crown claims Ms Imam then left her BMW in the local area and was driven to Leicester before being killed within hours.
During his opening address at the start of a two-month trial, Mr Spencer added: “From Boxing Day onwards a missing person inquiry was triggered.”
Mr Spencer said of the defendants: “They thought they had got away with the killing, they thought they had covered their tracks and traces.
“They were wrong.”
Workplace: Costco warehouse in Coventry
At the time of Ms Imam’s death, the court heard Roger Cooper was also having relationships with two other women, his live-in partner Susan Potts and Costco colleague Sinead Sweeney.
The court heard claims that Ms Imam knew of her lover’s long-term partner, but not his relationship with Ms Sweeney, who was estranged from her husband.
Mr Spencer said Roger Cooper and Ms Imam knew they were “running a risk” due to Costco’s policies onrelationships involving managers.
“Both kept the affair secret,” Mr Spencer told the court.
“Both knew that the consequences of the affair being discovered could jeopardise their job.
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