September 2022

Cheshire dad of three knew he’d ‘lose everything’ by pursuing ‘underage’ girl online

A dad-of-three from Cheshire tried to incite a ’13-year-old girl’ to have sex with him despite knowing he could “lose everything”.

David Cooper, 35, sexually pursued teenager ‘Grace’ via Kik Messenger but, unbeknown to him, she was actually an undercover police officer whose role was to find paedophiles online.

In a series of online chat messages, Cooper agreed with the girl that her mum would kill her if she knew about their conversations.

The defendant added: “She won’t know but I could go to prison and lose everything.” Liverpool Crown Court heard on September 1 that Cooper, of Nicholas Road, Widnes, was a diagnostic technician at a car manufacturer on the brink of promotion

But the family man’s career was now in ruins after he was sentenced to 27 months in jail. Judge Anil Murray told Cooper: “You say you are not attracted to children. It is not possible for me to accept that and you now seem to accept that situation.”

Although Cooper stopped contacting the decoy child three months before police knocked at his door, the judge said the only appropriate punishment was an immediate jail term.

Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, told the court Cooper had told the girl he was 30 and lived in Warrington. He said the defendant pursued conversations with her despite her telling him she was 13 – and he repeatedly asked her to send him photographs of her thighs and crotch area in leggings or tights.

Cooper sent ‘Grace’ a photograph of his penis and moved their conversations onto Instagram. He told her “it’s our secret” and made lewd remarks. He asked about her underwear, told her he was pleasuring himself while thinking about her, and said he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.

The contact, which spanned from May 11 to August 4 last year, came to an end and he was arrested in November. Cooper pleaded guilty to attempted communication with a child and attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Murray jailed Cooper for 27 months. The judge also imposed a ten year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for the same period of time.