June 2022

‘Disgusting’ paedophile offered ‘teenage girl’ £100 to perform sex act

A pervert sent a picture his genitals and offered £100 to what he thought was a teenage girl.

Chris Cooper, 50, of Chetton Drive, Runcorn, took to Kik Messenger after drinking alcohol while he was on holiday in Greece on September 23, 2019.

Jayne Morris, prosecuting on Wednesday, told Chester Crown Court how Cooper’s opening message to the “girl” was “Want £100 hun x?”

Cooper was actually talking to an undercover police officer but thought he was chatting to a 13-year-old girl, and said he “preferred younger girls”.

As the conversation continued, often referring to her as “hun”, he asked if she was “home alone” and said he “wanted to see her naked”, adding he would pay her £100 to let him perform a sex act on her.

Cooper said he was from Runcorn and they discussed meeting at McDonald’s near the Trafford Centre.

He said he was on holiday in Greece and made a series of sexual comments. On September 24, 2019, he sent the supposed child an obscene photograph.

The exchange continued on September 25, and he “kept asking for naked photographs”, telling her would be “grateful”.

When she declined, he said: “It’s your loss.”

Cheshire Police arrested Cooper on October 31, 2019, and he told them: “It’s all a mistake, I was drunk.”

He added he had been on holiday with his girlfriend in Greece and didn’t recall who he had been talking to.

Cooper said he had been “stupid”, “it wasn’t him”, and he was “sexually frustrated”.

He was charged in April 2022, about two-and-a-half years after the incident, due to Cheshire Police’s general “backlog” of digital devices to examine and the need to prioritise the most serious cases.

Cooper pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to attempting to cause a child aged 13-15 years to watch an image of sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Prosecutors had held back from charging him with an attempt to meet a child because he hadn’t tried to go through with the plan and travel.

Officers spoke to Cooper about one image discovered on his computer during a second interview in 2021 but it didn’t lead to any charge.

Ms Morris said the defendant had no previous convictions. The maximum sentence available was two years.

Judge Simon Berkson said the guidelines and case law indicated a custodial sentence of six months, with a question of whether to suspend it.

Judge Berkson sentenced Cooper to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work to complete and £300 in prosecution costs to pay.

The judge ordered a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years and placed Cooper on the sex offenders register for the same duration