The family of Sabrina Cooper have paid tribute to a “loving and dedicated mother and grandmother”.
Sabrina, 68, from Eastbourne, was sadly found dead at her home in Connaught Road at around 6.45pm on Sunday, December 18, following concerns for her welfare.
A murder investigation was launched and Tony King, 59, of Cornfield Terrace, Eastbourne, was arrested and later charged with her murder and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
King, who was known to Sabrina, appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (December 22). He was remanded in custody to next appear for a pre-trial preparation hearing on March 10, when he will formally submit his pleas.
A provisional trial date of June 19 was also set.
In a statement released to Sussex Police, Sabrina’s family said: “On behalf of the family, we thank everyone who has shown support and love over the last few days as this nightmare has unfolded.
“We would like to thank Sussex Police for deploying multiple resources to the scene promptly.
“For the past two years, Sabrina has not enjoyed good health but in true Sabrina style she bravely faced up to her illness.
“Recovering from a recent operation and in full recovery, Sabrina was looking forward to a new and exciting fresh start in a new home she was planning to occupy early next year.
“Sabrina was not a complicated person, in fact it was the simple things in life that she loved the most, her family, friends and of course her dogs.
“Christmas was Sabrina’s favourite time of the year. She always prepared early, wrapping gifts, making plans and decorating her house. For her, it was a time of joy and a time to celebrate with her family and friends.
“A loving and dedicated mother, a beloved grandmother and a popular member of the Eastbourne community, Sabrina enjoyed walking her dogs through Eastbourne where she would meet other like-minded people.
“She was loved by so many, and the tributes paid to her over the past few days are a testament to this.
"Like us, her dogs Abra and Tricks cannot understand what has happened as they pine, staring at the door, expecting Sabrina to return. We know this will never happen, never again will we share jokes, silly stories or any reason to simply have a good laugh.
“We are devastated as we try to come to terms with what has happened, and we appeal that our privacy be respected as we navigate through these difficult times.”