Antiques dealer jailed for at least 24 years after strangling daughter to death

A wealthy antiques dealer has been jailed for at least 24 years for strangling his seven-year-old daughter to death.

Former Israeli soldier Robert Peters, 56, researched child killers but kept his murderous plans a secret from authorities after two suicide attempts.

Last November, he throttled Sophia with a dressing gown cord while alone with her at his £1 million family home in Wimbledon, south-west
London.

When she woke up and asked what he was doing, Peters said "sorry" but carried on anyway.

Robert Peters strangled his seven-year-old daughter Sophia (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Robert Peters strangled his seven-year-old daughter Sophia (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Afterwards, he called 999 to report what he had done and the child was rushed to hospital, but died the following day.

The killing came just over a month after depressed and suicidal Peters was found not to be a risk by a Merton child protection team.

Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 24 years, Mr Justice Edis said: "This was a determined pre-mediated killing in which there was an intention to kill.

"It is impossible to imagine the last few conscious minutes of that child's life. She was a lovely little girl who loved her parents and thought that they loved her.

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 24 years having pleaded guilty to the murder of his seven-year-old daughter https://t.co/GBMq2g5mIopic.twitter.com/htg1N3pPKK

-- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 30, 2018

"Asleep in bed, she no doubt felt safe and believed that should she need it she had the protection of her father.

"Her shock and bewilderment to find that he was set on her death amounted, in my judgement, to an intentional act of cruelty over an above the killing itself.

"I do not think the defendant intended to wake her up but when she did, he carried on anyway, now knowing that the death would not be a painless and oblivious event."

The judge said Peters was "deceitful and manipulative" and "calculating and disingenuous" in the way he hid his plans.

He added: "This was a premeditated crime carefully thought through and relentlessly executed."

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