September 2009

MOTTINGHAM: Paedophile jailed for child sex offences

A PAEDOPHILE who used the internet to find his victims has been jailed for sex offences involving girls as young as nine.

Patrick Cook, of The Mound, Mottingham, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to five years and ten months after pleading guilty to four sexual offences.

Sentencing Cook, Judge Philip Shorrock described him as a “predatory paedophile”.

The 49-year-old preyed on girls after meeting their “vulnerable single mothers” via dating sites on the web.

He also used internet chat rooms to lure victims.

A nine-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by Cook in Cambridge last December after he met her mother on a dating site.

He also assaulted an 11-year-old girl in Hastings in April last year.

From examining Cook’s computer, police found he had been trying to meet a 13-year-old girl from Hackney to have sex with her.

An investigation was launched by Bexley police in July 2008 after a woman made allegations involving her nine-year-old daughter.

Acting Detective Sergeant Graham Hillsdon, of Bexley police, said: “Cook targeted vulnerable single mothers on the internet to try to get them to be complicit in his offending.

“Many of his victims were initially reluctant to contact police for fear of getting into trouble with police or social services themselves and it’s only through gaining the victims’ trust that we have been able to bring this case to court.

“We now believe that Cook has been using the internet to contact women for a number of years and there may be other young women and mothers out there who have yet to report what happened to them.

“I can assure them that any allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”

Anyone with information about Cook can contact police on             0300 123 1212      .

Cook has also been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, is banned from working with children and is subject to a sexual offences prevention order.