June 2020

Public-school rowing coach, 30, jailed for six years 

A public school rowing coach who posed as a 16-year-old girl to sexually manipulate 32 teenage boys was jailed for six years today.

Andrew Cook, 30, was convicted of 37 sexual offences involving dozens of boys aged between 13 and 17 at south west London‘s £20,000-per-year Hampton School.

Cook, of Newbury, Berkshire, tricked the boys into getting naked on camera making ‘pic for pic’ requests while posing as a 16-year-old girl, under the name Anne Jones.

The teacher targeted a string of adolescent boys over the course of nine years.  

Victims recalled feeling ’embarrassed’, ‘awful’ and ‘physically sick’ when they discovered Anne Jones was in fact their rowing coach, who they trusted and regarded as a friend.

Cook was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court where he came face to face with one of his victims, while others attended virtually. 

The ex-rowing coach was also banned from working with children and will be placed on the sexual offenders register.

Judge Alexia Durran said: ‘You were in a position of trust to many of the teenage victims.

‘They said you were someone they trusted, someone who helped them when they were bullied, someone who had betrayed their trust. Some feel it has impacted their academic studies.’ 

Surrey Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team launched their probe in April 2018 after being alerted by the school and found Cook had been offending since June 2011. 

During his nine-year period of abuse, Cook invited victims to a game of truth and dare online and asked them to trade ‘pic for pic’.

On one occasion, he pretended to be his female cousin while talking to a boy online who he sent photos of a topless female and asked for nude pictures in return. 

The ex rowing coach pleaded guilty to 37 counts of grooming the boys to pose naked for him and to possessing 53 indecent images of children.

He denied charges related to three further boys which were not tried and will remain on file. 

The rowing coach was sacked from the 450-year-old independent school two years ago after an internal disciplinary inquiry prompted by student complaints. 

Hampton School expressed its ‘deep regret’ after the shamed former rowing coach was jailed.