June 2023

Paedophile jailed for grooming and raping girl, 13, in Theale

A paedophile who pretended to be a 17-year-old boy to groom and a rape a teenage girl has been jailed for 10 years.

Robin Cook, 52, pretended to be a teenage boy named Robbie to groom a 13-year-old online, encouraging her to send intimate photographs.

After two years of online grooming, he revealed his identity before raping the girl several times across numerous years in Theale.

Cook, of Malwood Place, Havant, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Thursday (June 22) by Judge Edward Burgess

The court that Cook found the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on the live-streaming service, Twitch, in 2016 when he was about 46-years-old.

He started talking to her on various social media sites using the alias of ‘Robbie’, leading the girl to believe he was her ‘online best friend’.

The pair did not video call for the first few years with Cook claiming he was ‘insecure’. However, he persuaded the girl to send him intimate photos as she considered them to be in a relationship.

On one occasion, when the girl was 14, she asked to meet Cook at a beach in Portsmouth where her family was going on holiday.

She looked for him at the time but to no avail. Her friend then messaged to tell her ‘Robbie’ had taken photographs of her at the beach.

When asked why ‘Robbie’ did not stay and meet her, Cook claimed he ‘had to go’.

Eventually, Cook revealed his true identity to the girl via a video call. The girl described to police the ‘deep, emotional reaction’ she had to seeing an adult male instead of a 17-year-old ‘Robbie’.

Cook immediately drove to the victim’s house before proceeding to rape her. The girl told police she was still in ‘a great deal of confusion’ at the time.

The defendant proceeded to rape the victim over several years, driving her to hotels, his own home and ‘unknown locations’ – all while she was under the age of 16. He also bought her sex toys and clothing.

In a victim impact statement read out in the court, the girl said: “What took place affected my life significantly. It’s caused me to be suspicious of older males and very distrusting of people in general.

“My self confidence was severely damaged. At times I should have been at school, having fun with my friends, I was being driven around and abused.

“Mr Cook took everything from me. I was merely a child at the time. It forced me to grow up quickly to deal with what was happening.

“I feel embarrassed about being taken advantage of.”

In a message to Cook, the victim said: “What you did to me was so abhorrent and terrible, I would not wish it on my worst enemy.”

Defending Cook, his barrister Felicia Dawy said Cook was struggling to find a ‘meaningful attachment’ at the time.

She said: “He was somebody who had been single and described himself as being depressed.

“He was separated from his wife but was still living with her. He found it difficult to form any meaningful attachments.

“He accepts, in the guise of Robbie, he formed an attachment [with the girl]. Whilst he completely accepts he is in the position because of his own wrongdoing, he had dealt with care and love his [own family].”

Sentencing, Judge Burgess said: “You created an online persona, Robbie, complete with photographs of an attractive young teenage boy.

“There can be no doubt this was a planned and calculated serious of acts by you whose purpose was to ensnare a teenage girl and it reveals your predatory sexual nature.

“You successfully manipulated [the victim] into a situation which she felt powerless to escape. You imposed yourself on her sexually on multiple occasions.

“This was a cynical, selfish, systematic abuse of a vulnerable teenage girl.”

Cook will serve two thirds of his sentence before being released on licence. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.