Woodhall Spa

Rugby coach paedophile caught in online police sting operation

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A Lincolnshire rugby coach with a self-confessed interest in young girls has been jailed for three years after he was caught by a police sting operation.

Jacob Cook, 30, from Woodhall Spa, spent four months chatting online with what he thought was a 13-year-old schoolgirl requesting photographs of her and asking to take her virginity.

But the “girl” was actually an undercover policewoman and now Cook faces a life-time ban from coaching after being jailed for three years for a string of offences.

Cook, a university graduate, responded to a user named “Tiny Dancer” claiming to be a 13-year-old girl after she posted a message saying “so bored” on the Kik app.

Jacob Cook spent four months chatting to what be believed was a 13-year-old girl.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that private chat between the two continued on WhatsApp with Cook asking for pictures and starting to groom the girl.

He went on to make sexually explicit suggestions to her after asking about her experiences of sex.

Mr Watson said: “The defendant revealed that he was a rugby coach and referred to himself as a teacher.

“It is perfectly plain that he believed he was talking to a schoolgirl. He sought to gain a degree of trust from her.

“From January 2016 the defendant began to steer the conversation in a more sinister direction.

“He began conversation of a more directly sexual nature asking her what was the most she had done sex-wise.”

On one occasion, after confirming with her that she was 13, Cook said to her: “Would you like to do things with me?”

Cook, who had previously offered to talk the girl through “her first masturbation” then said to her, “would you let me take your virginity?”

The conversations came to an end after “Tiny Dancer” refused to send him photographs and he responded by saying: “There’s nothing really here to keep me interested.”

Mr Watson said that when detectives began investigating Cook they discovered that he had applied for clearance to work coaching children and his case became a priority inquiry.

He was arrested and when police seized his mobile phone they found over 200 child porn images as well as photographs featuring bestiality.

Cook, 30, of King Edward Road, Woodhall Spa, admitted attempting to incite a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity between December 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

He also admitted three charges of making a total of 230 indecent images of children and a further charge of possession of extreme pornographic images.

He was jailed for three years and given a seven year sexual harm prevention order.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “You acknowledge that you did have and do have a sexual attraction to young children.

“These offences are significantly and very worryingly on the increase. Hardly a week goes by without this court seeing cases of young girls being groomed online by older men. These offences are on the increase. They are very worrying to the courts and they cause very considerable public concern.

“I cannot deal with you in any other way than an immediate custodial sentence.”

Michael Goldwater, in mitigation, said that Cook had no previous convictions and had shown candour with the authorities following his arrest.

Mr Goldwater urged the judge to impose a suspended jail sentence adding; “There was no victim in this case. The undercover officer was very skilful.

“He has been educated to a degree level and has since been working with his father.

“He played rugby to a very high standard and hoped to go into rugby coaching. That is now closed to him. He can no longer engage in any activity that will bring him into contact with any child under the age of 16.”