NewsCourts

Sex offender jailed for raping boy and abusing another child

Sex offender jailed for raping boy and abusing another child

A convicted sex offender has been sentenced to 18 years for raping a boy and sexually abusing another child twenty years later.

Associates of the victims told Kenneth Cooke (53) to “enjoy his time in prison” and to “rot in there” as he was led away to begin the sentence.

Cooke is already serving a nine year sentence imposed in 2014 for the sexual abuse of a female victim 20 years ago. The severity of the sentence was later upheld on appeal.

Cooke of Limekiln Green, Walkinstown, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 21 counts of sexually assaulting a boy between January 2000 and July 2003 when the boy was aged between 11 and 13 years of age.

He had pleaded not guilty to 56 counts of indecent assault of another boy between December 1980 and December 1985 and was convicted by a jury.

Yesterday Judge Patricia Ryan imposed a nine year sentence with four suspended for abuse of the first boy which began in 1980. She also imposed an eleven year sentence with two suspended for the abuse of the second boy 13 years ago.

These will run consecutive to each other but alongside his existing sentence meaning an effective prison term of 14 years from today.

Judge Ryan took the unusual move of imposing consecutive terms because of the “very, very, very serious” nature of the offending.

She noted that the abuse of the boy in the 1980s began when the nine year old victim was in a very vulnerable state after suffering a family tragedy. It involved molesting the boy before moving on to anally raping him.

The boy developed a severe stammer after Cooke raped him for the first time which took him 20 years to overcome.

The child was unable to control his bowels after Cooke raped him a second time. Judge Ryan noted how distressing this must have been for a boy of his age.

There was a break in the abuse in 1985 when Cooke was in jail for six months. He has 30 previous convictions, 29 of which are for non-sexual offences.

The child began suffering from nightmares because of the abuse including one so frightening that he tried to jump out a window in his sleep. Cooke finally stopped abusing him when the boy got strong enough to fight him off.

A local garda told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that the victim contacted gardaí in 2014 and Cooke was arrested in July 2014. He denied all the allegations and told gardaí that the victim was “telling lies, a pack of filthy Jesus lies”.

In a victim impact statement the victim said in order to survive he tried to “block everything out” but this meant he also blocked out his happy childhood memories.

“They are ruined, damaged and gone because of this horrific demon,” he said.

He described feeling ashamed and filthy as a child before. He said the abuse defined his childhood but he was determined not to let it define his life.

“It will always stay with me. I have survived, lived, to get justice for that vulnerable little boy,” he said.

In 2000 Cooke began abusing another child he had access to who was in fifth class.

The man would put his hands down the boy's bottoms and touch him, while masturbating himself. The court heard the boy mostly pretended to be asleep when the abuse was happening.

The abuse ended in 2003 when the boy used his woodworking skills to fashion a lock for his door to keep Cooke out.

The victim did not tell anyone about the abuse until he made a formal complaint to gardaí last year. “He wanted to tell someone but he didn't because he was afraid of (Cooke),” Ms Lacey said.

When questioned by gardaí, the man initially denied the allegation, saying the boy was a “loner with no friends”. He now wished to convey an apology to his victim, defence barrister, Tara Burns SC, said.

Ms Burns said Cooke was supported by family members, including a wife and four-year-old child who visited him in prison. He was in poor health and had a stroke recently.