March 2022

Bath man who sent lewd videos to ‘child’ is caught in police sting

A man who exposed himself to someone he thought was a child was caught in a police sting.

Ashley Cooper sent ‘Abbie, aged 13’ lewd footage of himself – only to find he had been chatting online to a police officer

Cooper, 61, of Westfield in Bath, pleaded guilty to attempting to have sexual communication with a child aged under 16. He also admitted attempting to cause a child aged under 16 to watch an image of himself in sexual activity.

The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC handed him a 16-month jail term, suspended for 18 months.

He told Cooper: “It was persistent offending between April and June last year but you voluntarily stopped after a period of more than two months. You have considerable remorse, health issues and a supportive wife despite all of this.”

Cooper was ordered to notify as a sex offender for 10 years and was handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and rehabilitation designed to stop him reoffending. He was fined £500 and also told to pay a victim surcharge.

Mandla Ndlovu, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court Cooper chatted online to who he thought was a girl aged 13 and sent her a photo of his private parts. When the ‘girl’ sent him a picture of her in her bathrobe, so began days of dialogue in which he talked sexually and sent her intimate photos and videos of himself

The court heard some footage involved Cooper urinating. Another video he sent showed him engaged in a sex act.