October 2017

Teen who raped six-year-old boy and sexually abused toddler is locked up

A 14-year-old boy from Plymouth has been locked up for at least four years and three months after he admitted raping a boy aged six and sexually abusing a two-year-old.

Teenager Casey cooke sat flanked by his grandparents behind his legal representative at Plymouth Crown Court as the case was outlined by Crown Prosecutor Jo Martin

The court was told that Cooke had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a total of five offences – four of causing or inciting a child into sexual activity and one count of rape.

Ms Martin explained how on March 1 this year at a property in Plymouth Cooke was left in the company of a two-year-old boy.

The toddler’s mother returned to the room to find the younger boy’s privates out of his nappy and appeared sore and red.

Cooke – who was 13 at the time – was then discovered to have been telling people at school that he had performed an indecent act upon the toddler.

Police were called and in to interview Cooke and he made a full admission.

At the time, with input from a number of authorities including the NSPCC, his school, social workers and the Plymouth Youth Offending Team, police agreed that a caution was the most appropriate course of action.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC noted that this decision, when taken the offence “in isolation” was “not unreasonable on first blush”.

However, Ms Martin noted that the parents of the toddler were not content with the caution being offered.

Ms Martin noted that on May 1 the boy committed a burglary and theft from a school, taking a set of keys. He admitted it in police interview and attended youth court on July 27 where he pleaded guilty. He received a referral order.

The police investigation at a later stage uncovered offending on August 6 where the teen had gone on a trip with the six-year-old’s extended family and other children.

He took the younger boy to a toilet cubicle where he again performed two indecent acts upon the younger boy.

Ms Martin said the teen then told the six-year-old he was “a good boy” and ordered him “not to say anything to anybody” about what had happened.

The following day, the teen was interviewed by a social worker about the incident in March involving the two-year-old. The teen did not volunteer any information about the incidents involving the six-year-old.

In August, the teen – by now 14 years old – had again gone with the six-year-old’s family and other children to a fast food restaurant as a treat.

As they were walking home, the adult accompanying the children realised they could not see the teen nor the six-year-old.

Retracing his steps he heard screaming and found the six-year-old pinned against a wall, being raped by the teen who had his hand over the younger boy’s mouth.

Ms Martin said the adult “managed to kick” the teen off the six-year-old who was “clearly very upset”.

When the “very very upset” boy got home he revealed that the 14-year-old had also performed an indecent act upon him prior to the rape. He also finally revealed the previous sexual assaults on August 6 when the teen had urged him not to tell anyone.

The six-year-old attended hospital where he was treated and while he “physically recovered, mentally it was a different issue”, the court heard.

The teen was arrested and made full admissions, saying he felt “very sad about what he had done”.

In a victim impact statement, the two-year-old’s mother said the incident had had an “immense impact” on her family.

She said it was like “living in a nightmare” and she felt “really sick to my stomach” at what was done to her child.

She wrote that she no longer felt she could leave her toddler in the presence of other children.

She was also angry the teen had told other teens what he had done and that she was “very unhappy with how this was initially dealt with”, adding that while she understood the teen was himself a child she felt the “law should protect other children”.

The mother of the six-year-old said the teen’s offences had “destroyed our lives” and had destroyed the adult male who had taken the group of children to the fast food restaurant.

She said she could no longer look at her child without wondering the long term effects on him.

She wrote that the teen had taken her son’s future away, saying he “may never be the same again”

She said the boy had shown understanding at what was done to him, telling her “I know [teen] only hurts me because I was little”.

Ms Martin noted that since the incident the six-year-old’s parents had separated due to the stress of the case and parents had said the young boy “is clearly struggling” and had “gone off the rails” following the serious sexual assault.

Ms Martin cited the sentencing guidelines, noting how there were aggravating factors such as the teens violent efforts to silence the six-year-old during the rape, how he did not reveal further offences to the social worker and his continuation of offences.

She also noted how the teen had set about isolating the six-year-old from the other children and adult carer which “must have been terrifying for [the six-year-old].

The court heard there were reports where the teen stated he was sexually attracted to ‘little and big boys’ as well as being attracted to the six-year-old.

 Judge Lawrie addressed the teen, telling him that he had “little hesitation that you are dangerous” and adding that he entirely agreed with the YOT’s conclusions.

Judge Lawrie said the staring point for an adult would have been 13 years, with a range between 11 and 17 years.

This rose to 15 years to reflect the offending backdrop of the other offences and the effort at isolation of [the six-year-old] in order to commit the offence.

As per the sentencing guidelines set by Parliament, this was reduced by half for youths to seven years six months.

It was further reduced to reflect mitigating factors to six years six months and one third off for early guilty pleas reduced the period of detention to four years and three months. After this time was served he would be able to attend a parole board who would only release him when it was deemed “safe to do so”.

Judge Lawrie said an extended sentence was appropriate and attached an extension of five years, meaning that he would be on licence for nine years and three months from the day of sentence.

He placed the boy on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made him subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order “until further notice”.

After saying the teen had to pay a victim surcharge of £30, the judge turned to him while he stood in the dock as custody officers approached with cuffs and said: “[teen], I’m sorry, you’ve got to go with the gentlemen.”