Man jailed for sexually abusing and raping teenage girl - Hemel Hempstead

14/02/2017

A man, who raped and sexually abused a teenage girl, was today, Tuesday, 14 February 2017, jailed for 15 years.

Malcolm Cook, aged 44, groomed the Hemel Hempstead teenager by sending her explicit texts and naked pictures of himself.

Prosecutor Wayne Cleaver told Luton Crown Court: "There was a regular and an escalating course of conduct. It began with groping and touching and on a number of occasions there were rapes. "It went on from early 2012 to late 2015 when she was aged 14 to 16. He would belittle her and undermine her self confidence. He made her feel worthless and scared."

The abuse came to light in late 2015 when the girl told a friend. Her school was informed and the police were contacted. She had kept some of Cook's text messages and photographs.

Cook, of Booth Meadow Court, Northampton, appeared for sentence from Bedford prison. He had changed his plea to guilty of four counts of rape, three of sexual activity with a child and one of causing a child to engage in sexual activity when a trial was due to start last month. He had no previous convictions.

Michelle Clarke, defending, said: "He has found it very difficult to come to terms with what he has done." She asked for credit for his guilty plea, which meant the victim did not have to give evidence.

Jailing him, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "You cannot come to terms with the appalling and terrible crimes you have committed. In our own mind it is not all your fault. Until you get that out of your mind there is no hope of any rehabilitation on your part. There was an enormous disparity in age. You were coming up to 40 and over 40. The complainant was aged 14 to 17. I am satisfied there was grooming behaviour. There is clear evidence you exercised control and domination over her and there has been a very serious effect on the complainant's psychology."

The Judge said the victim was very brave to be in court to hear the sentence. He went on: "In her impact statement it is clear some kind of recovery is being made. I genuinely hope that is the case."

He told Cook: "You did not think of the terrible effect this can have on individual over a whole life time. You do these things to a child and it can affect their whole life."

In addition to the custodial sentence, Cook must register as a sex offender and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for life.

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