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Revealed Pair boasted on Skype about 'how much fun it is to be a paedo'

Disgraced civil servant who swapped disturbing images of abuse with pal online

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Lucky escape: Geoffrey Cooper at his home in Limavady this week

Lucky escape: Geoffrey Cooper at his home in Limavady this week

Lucky escape: Geoffrey Cooper at his home in Limavady this week

This is the disgraced civil servant who swapped sickening images of kids with his online gay ‘lover’ during Skype chats about child abuse.

Geoffrey Cooper from Limavady narrowly escaped a prison sentence after a judge at Antrim Crown Court told the father of two it was the first time ever she had not jailed someone who had distributed such disturbing child pornography.

The 55-year-old, who must sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years, is pictured for the first time just days after being handed a ten-month jail sentence which was suspended for four years.

Creepy Cooper, who was married at the time, had struck up a friendship through a gay dating site with a man he identified as ‘Kenny’.

Cooper claims ‘Kenny’ sent him the pictures and asked him to copy them – telling the court he had forgotten about them and that he had gotten no sexual gratification from viewing them.

The court was told almost half of the pictures were of the most serious and disturbing kind and included images of kids being raped.

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The World is watching: Our reporter confronts Cooper

The World is watching: Our reporter confronts Cooper

The World is watching: Our reporter confronts Cooper

They also had Skype chats which Judge Patricia Smyth described as “appalling” which included boasts about how much fun it is to be “a paedo”.

This week when confronted by the Sunday World, Cooper said he was “no danger” to the public.

He claimed he was “set-up” by ‘Kenny’ and that he was “getting help”.

Creepy Cooper lives in a block of new-build apartments and when we called at his home this week a child’s toy tricycle was parked right outside his front door.

“I can’t believe this is happening, it’s not right,” he told us through the window of his apartment.

“I got sucked into something and I was set up by Kenny. He was my friend I thought but he set me up.”

When asked why the PSNI didn’t arrest ‘Kenny’, Cooper replied: “I have no idea, I don’t know why the police didn’t go to find him, it’s very strange.

“I’ve lost everything because of this and I’m no danger whatsoever, I’m not into that. I’m getting help and trying to get on with my life. I know I was lucky not to go to jail.”

At an earlier hearing Cooper, from Drumachose Mews in Limavady, entered guilty pleas to a total of 16 offences – 15 of possessing indecent images of children and one of distributing the images, all committed between October 4 2013 and September 17 2014.

Of the 76 images, 30 were assessed as being at level A – the most heinous category – with a further 22 at level B and the rest at C.

Prosecuting barrister Suzanne Gallagher told the court that “acting on information received,” cops searched Cooper’s home in August 2017 and seized a laptop and a memory stick.

Cooper wasn’t there during the search but was located at the government offices where he worked at the time and taken to Coleraine station where he “made certain admissions” to begin with before making further confessions during formal police interviews.

Ms Gallagher outlined that when the devices were examined, cops uncovered a total of 76 indecent images of kids, along with two Skype chats where Cooper discussed child abuse with a man named as ‘Kenny’ and “the enjoyment of being a ‘paedo’”.

By way of example of the category A images, the court heard that one of the pictures was of a seven or eight-year-old boy being raped by an adult male.

Cooper admitted that using the gay dating apps Gaydar and Grindr, he befriended a man he named as ‘Kenny’ and that he had sent him the images, claiming he felt that ‘Kenny’ was the only person he could talk to as his marriage disintegrated.

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'I can't believe this is happening': Geoffrey Cooper is surprised to get a visit from the Sunday World

'I can't believe this is happening': Geoffrey Cooper is surprised to get a visit from the Sunday World

'I can't believe this is happening': Geoffrey Cooper is surprised to get a visit from the Sunday World


He further confessed that he shared a number of the images with ‘Kenny,’ hence the distribution offence, but he denied receiving sexual gratification from the images.

Cooper claimed that having been sent images by ‘Kenny,’ at his request he had saved them from his laptop to the memory stick, further claiming that having put both devices in a drawer, he had not looked at the images again.

“Mr Cooper then goes on to say that he always thought that Gaydar and Grindr should have taken some action when they saw that he and Kenny were sharing indecent images.

“He would say that if Gaydar and Grindr had done that, he could have found a ‘way out’ without losing the friendship,” said the lawyer.

Cooper conceded himself that “some of them [the images] were dreadful – now, as time has passed, I cannot understand, I just can’t believe it, why I was so interested in that friendship that I allowed him to show me the photographs”.

The court heard that his “marriage ended” as a result of his offences being uncovered, and he lost his career with the civil service.

Ms Gallagher submitted that while it was not possible to ascertain which images Cooper had shared, the fact he did so at all “is a serious aggravating factor” in his offending but that his early admissions, guilty pleas and clear record were mitigating features.

Suspending the 10-month jail sentence for four years, the judge told the creep she wanted to “make it absolutely clear to you how finely balanced” the final outcome was with a clear warning that if he committed any further offences, he would serve that sentence in full.

“This is the only case where I have not sent a person straight to prison for an offence involving distribution,” she told Antrim Crown Court.

Judge Smyth highlighted the fact that no videos were found and that she had read the transcript of the Skype chats Cooper had been involved in where child abuse had been discussed, describing them as simply “appalling”.

She also revealed that since the offences came to light that Cooper had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome which was a factor she was taking into account, as was the “significant delay” in bringing the case to court.

“These are children who are abused solely for one reason – so that people can look at that abuse and feel sexual gratification,” said the judge, who told Cooper: “These are not victimless crimes and the distribution is the most serious aggravating factor.”

Judge Smyth said while she accepted there were mitigating factors such as those mentioned by Ms Gallagher, there was “nothing exceptional” to warrant not sending Cooper to jail.

She added, however, that the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome caused her to give “careful consideration” to the appropriate sentence so that, coupled with guideline cases that judge must give extra credit to where defendants facing jail during the pandemic when prison conditions amount to 23-hour lock-up, persuaded her to suspend the jail sentence.

Cooper was made the subject of a five-year sexual offences prevention order and must sign the police sex offenders’ register for the next 10 years.

The judge told Cooper that if he committed any further sexual offences “you can expect an exceptionally long prison sentence”.

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