Child sex of­fender locked up

Taranaki Daily News - - News - DAVID BUR­ROUGHS

A man has been jailed for an ‘‘ap­palling cat­a­logue’’ of sex­ual abuse against two young girls which be­gan nearly two decades ago and con­tin­ued for two years.

Richard An­drew Cook, 54, was jailed for more than three years in the New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Court on Mon­day af­ter ear­lier plead­ing guilty to four charges of in­de­cent as­sault on a girl un­der 12 and one of an in­de­cent act with a girl un­der 12.

Judge Kevin Glubb said Cook came into con­tact with the two girls in 1999, when vic­tim one was aged 10 and the other was eight.

He went into their bed­room while they were asleep and knelt down be­side the bed of his older vic­tim, who awoke to find him touch­ing him­self be­fore he sex­u­ally as­saulted her.

‘‘When she protested, you told her that it was all right, that it was nor­mal,’’ Glubb told Cook.

Cook as­saulted the girl the same way a num­ber of times over a two year pe­riod and when she re­fused to par­tic­i­pate, he told her no one would be­lieve her if she told any­one about it. He also com­mit­ted an in­de­cent act in front of her a num­ber of times and en­cour­aged her to watch.

Glubb said the of­fend­ing against Cook’s sec­ond vic­tim started around the same time, when he twice lay down be­hind her while she was sleep­ing and she woke to find him sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her.

‘‘On the first oc­ca­sion you were in­ter­rupted by her older sis­ter coming into the room and you just sim­ply rolled over and pre­tended to sleep,’’ Glubb said.

‘‘On the sec­ond oc­ca­sion it lasted longer as you had closed the door be­fore­hand.’’

On another oc­ca­sion, Cook was naked and grabbed the vic­tim’s hand be­fore he forced her to touch him. He only stopped when she be­gan to cry.

‘‘This is an ap­palling cat­a­logue frankly, Mr Cook,’’ Glubb said af­ter out­lin­ing the of­fend­ing.

He said there were a num­ber of ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors in­clud­ing the pre­med­i­ta­tion, the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the vic­tims and the breach of trust as well as the in­tru­sive­ness of the of­fend­ing and the pro­longed pe­riod over which it hap­pened.

There was also a large im­pact on the vic­tims.

‘‘In the vic­tim im­pact state­ments that have been read to this court it is very clear the ef­fect this form of abuse has had on these two young women,’’ Glubb said.

‘‘As the court knows, the rip­ples from of­fend­ing such as this can ra­di­ate out for many years and of­ten have life­long and last­ing im­pacts.

‘‘I see no mit­i­ga­tion in this of­fend­ing.’’

He said the pre-sen­tence re­port had found Cook still showed no re­morse for his ac­tions.

‘‘In essence you con­tinue to deny this of­fend­ing,’’ he said.

Cook was as­sessed as a low risk of re-of­fend­ing but his risk of harm was as­sessed at medium.

‘‘The re­port writer in fact rec­om­mends home de­ten­tion,’’ Glubb said. He in­stead sen­tenced him to three years and five months im­pris­on­ment, which also re­sulted in Cook be­ing placed on the sex of­fender reg­is­ter.

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