September 2018

Child rapist faces new charges

A convicted child rapist who identifies as a woman crept into a little girl’s bedroom and repeatedly molested her, a court heard.

The court heard Carrie Cooper, 52, formerly known as Gary, told the victim it was “their secret” while allegedly subjecting her to regular sexual abuse.

A court heard has how she waited more than four years to report the alleged assaults to police, when Cooper was behind bars in HM Prison Littlehey, near Huntingdon, for raping another child.

Cooper is accused of sexually abusing the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between 2007 and 2012.

At the time of the alleged offences, the girl was aged between seven and 11 years old.

Opening the trial at St Albans Crown Court, prosecutor Wayne Cleaver said: “Cooper allegedly began with sexual assault and progressed to assault by penetration.

“It was repeated, it was regular, and it was unwanted.”

At the time of the alleged offences, the jury heard that Cooper was aged between 41 and 46 years old.

The court heard that the complainant first recalled the alleged abuse at the age of seven.

Mr Cleaver said: “The defendant entered her bedroom, and proceeded to undo her clothing, and touched what she described to the police as her private area.

“That was as unexpected as it was uninvited.

“The nature of the defendant’s sexual interest in [the alleged victim] escalated, and escalated fairly rapidly.”

Jurors heard that the defendant would “sometimes indicate an inclination to go further”.

Mr Cleaver said: “The prosecution say that these sorts of comments show a clear desire to achieve maximum sexual gratification.”

The court heard the alleged victim contacted the police in June 2016 after confiding in a friend, who encouraged her to tell her mother.

Mr Cleaver said: “These incidents of sexual abuse remained undetected and unreported for several years.”

He added: “What the prosecution say is the defendant actively discouraged her from revealing what was happening by insisting it was their secret.”

The court also heard that in 2012, Cooper was jailed for 14 years and four months at Winchester Crown Court for raping a girl under the age of 14.

Mr Cleaver said: “It is no coincidence, say the prosecution, that it occurred during 2011.”

Cooper, currently residing at HMP Littlehey, denies one count of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, and 10 counts of assault of a child under the age of 13 by penetration.

The trial, which is presided over by Mr Recorder Mark Ockelton and is expected to last until the end of the week.

November 2012

Internet sex predator jailed

A pervert who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl he arranged to meet in Basingstoke has been put behind bars.

Gary Cooper, 47, from Hertford, contacted his victim five days earlier via an online chat room and groomed her by posing as a teenage girl.

A police investigation uncovered a series of offences against the 12-year-old and another girl, to which Cooper pleaded guilty.

He was today jailed for 14 years and four months by a judge at Winchester Crown Court.

Detective Inspector Dave Storey from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation team said: “Gary Cooper (also known as Carrie Cooper) has been convicted of some very serious sexual assaults against children. The most serious involved a sequence of events in which Cooper used an on-line social network site to sexually groom and subsequently rape a 12-year-old girl.

“Cooper fabricated a profile in which he purported to be a 15-year-old girl and began to communicate with her. He arranged to meet her and on the evening of July 15, 2011, took her from Hampshire via Essex to Hertfordshire where he raped her. “The initial report of this incident was treated as a child abduction in which three police forces mobilised resources to establish her whereabouts. The girl was located by Hertfordshire Constabulary on the morning of July 16, 2011, but she had already been subjected to a very serious sexual assault.

“Cooper was charged and further investigation identified another vulnerable 15-year-old girl with whom he had had sex. He has been convicted of multiple offences of sexual activity against a child regarding this and the taking and making of indecent photographs of a child.

“This incident highlights the ease with which online paedophiles can use social networking sites to communicate with children and parents should be mindful of whom their children are communicating with and any arrangements that are made following contact.”

Cooper, 47, of Windsor Drive, Hertford, pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court on September 27, 2011, to the grooming and rape of a 12-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court on October 1, 2012, to the offences relating to the 15-year-old girl.