Former IDF man jailed for strangling his daughter

The Old Bailey heard Robert Peters, 56, had planned the murder of Sophia Peters "for weeks"


A British ex-IDF soldier has been jailed for strangling his daughter to death with a dressing gown cord at their family home.

Robert Peters, 56, initially denied murdering seven-year-old Sophia Peters, but changed his plea on the third day of his trial at the Old Bailey.

Peters, the owner of an antiques shop, had researched child killers online before using a dressing gown cord to throttle Sophia at the family home in Raynes Park, South-West London, in November.

The court heard that when the little girl woke up and asked what he was doing, Peters said "sorry" but continued. Afterwards, he called 999 and the little girl was rushed to hospital, but died the following day.

Peters later told officers he had planned to kill Sophia "for weeks".

The killing came a month after Peters, an ex-IDF soldier who had suffered from depression, was found not to be a risk by his local authority’s child protection team, despite two attempts to take his own life in 2017.

He was jailed for a minimum of 24 years for premeditated murder. 

After sentencing, Sophia's mother, Krittiya Peters, said she was struggling to come to terms with her daughter's death and the circumstances in which she died.

She said: "I feel betrayed and angry at my husband, who was supposed to look after and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our family at all costs."

Detective Inspector Helen Rance, who led the investigation, added: "The death of a child is something no family should have to go through, but the fact that Sophia Peters died at the hands of her own father makes it truly dreadful. 

"We may never truly understand why Robert Peters carried out this vile crime. His conviction and life sentence for murder is fully justified by the overwhelming facts.

"Our thoughts remain with Sophia's friends and family as they now try to move forward with their lives."

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