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One of two brothers accused of murdering a Costco marketing manager bought chloroform a fortnight before she died, a jury has heard.
Ex-soldier David Cooper is also alleged to have used his eBay account to buy copper powder before the disappearance of Sameena Imam.
The Crown court alleges that Cooper, 39, helped his older brother Roger, who was having an affair with Ms Imam, to kill his lover on Christmas Eve.
Roger Cooper, a Costco store manager from Tilehurst Drive, Coventry, and David Cooper, of Hughenden Drive, Leicester, both deny murder.
Continuing the Crown's opening statement on the second day of a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC read the jury a series of text messages sent by Roger Cooper to Ms Imam, who lived in Cardiff.
Jurors have heard Roger Cooper was attempting to "juggle" relationships with 34-year-old Imam, and his long-term partner in December last year.
Claiming Roger Cooper visited his brother in Leicester on December 4, hours before internet searches were made for chloroform, Mr Spencer told the court: "At the time of the search Roger Cooper is back in the Coventry area."
"Roger Cooper is very, very careful not to get his hands dirty. He goes to great lengths to distance himself from anything that he regards as incriminating."
"He leaves it to David to do the questionable search against chloroform."
On December 8 last year, the court heard, David Cooper made eBay purchases of 200ml of chloroform and 50g of copper powder.
The trial was told yesterday that David Cooper served with the Royal Signals before running a cafe.
Prosecutors claim the ex-serviceman had three mobile phones, including a "dirty" phone which was only used for communication with his brother.
Mr Spencer told the court the phone had a "very brief history'' and was only used for a few days.
"It was only ever in touch with Roger Cooper," Mr Spencer said. "The prosecution say it is a 'dirty' phone. It was never meant to come to light, it was meant never to be discovered."