Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Child abuser was taking pictures outside schools

Steven Cook.
Steven Cook.

A CONVICTED child abuser was found to have been using his phone to take pictures of children outside schools and in parks near where he lives before being arrested for being in possession of thousands of indecent images of children, writes our court correspondent.

Steven Cook was branded a danger by a judge after he pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, three of distributing images and also admitting being in breach of a sexual offences prevention order.

After ruling that he poses an on-going risk to children, a judge gave him an extended prison sentence and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.

And the 36-year-old, of Lakin Road, Warwick, was jailed for four years, of which he will have to serve at least two-thirds before the Parole Board considers his release.

He will only be freed before serving the whole term if it is considered safe to do so, and will be on licence for the rest of the sentence and for a further four years — during which he can be recalled to prison if his behaviour gives cause for concern.

Prosecutor, Rebecca Wade, said that in 2006 Cook had been jailed for 12 months for indecent assault and gross indecency with a 13-year-old girl.

As a result, he had also been ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years, but he failed to comply with the registration requirements on three occasions.

He was dealt with for that in 2013 when magistrates also made him subject to a sexual offences prevention order under which he was banned from having unsupervised contact with children.

As a convicted sex offender Cook was monitored by a police offender manager who would visit him at his home.

On one unannounced visit in February this year, after a general chat, and the officer then asked to see his mobile phone. But as Cook picked it up to hand it over, he tried to delete something from it.

The officer took the phone from him and saw an image of a girl in her very early teens in a low-cut dress, and online chat with girls as young as five, some referring to him as ‘daddy.’

Cook was asked if he had another phone, and claimed he did not, but a second one was found and seized, together with a laptop computer, a tablet and a number of memory cards.

He denied that he was sexually attracted to children, and although he accepted recording images of children outside schools and in parks in Warwick ‘on average once a day’ he said they were not indecent.

Cook agreed that, in breach of the sexual offences prevention order, he had formed a relationship with sisters aged eight and 13 in Canada, taking part in unsupervised online chat with them several times a day.

He claimed that apart from what was on that phone, his other devices and the memory cards were ‘clean’.

But on them police experts found a staggering 1,195 still images and 340 movies classed as being in category A.

There were also 1,037 stills and 182 movies in category B, and 3,563 stills and 118 movies in category C.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More