| 17.1°C Dublin

'Family Beast' Pervert who filmed kids in KFC toilet walks free after drug dealing conviction

Richard 'Creepy' Cooper received a deferred sentence and was ordered to have hair follicle tests to prove he remains drug free

Close

Pervert Richard Cooper outside court this week

Pervert Richard Cooper outside court this week

Pervert Richard Cooper outside court this week

A twisted pervert who secretly filmed kids going to the toilet in a KFC takeaway can now add convicted drug dealer to his criminal CV.

And yet Richard 'Creepy' Cooper - dubbed the 'Family Beast' by ex-friends - has yet to serve a day in prison.

Cocky Cooper arrived at Antrim Crown Court on Thursday morning seemingly without a care in the world - confident he wasn't going to be going to jail despite being caught repeatedly dealing drugs.

Puffing on a fag and dressed scruffily, Cooper was preparing to be sentenced for his third drug dealing case but already knew it was unlikely he was going to jail.

And the 28-year-old, with an address of Kirk Park, Ballymoney, was right after a judge deferred sentence for a year and ordered him to have hair follicle tests to prove he had remained drug free.

Cops sniffed out Cooper's drug dealing business after discovering he had access to a number of mobile phones.

He's banned from owning a phone capable of taking digital images and films because three years ago the pervert had been caught having set up his mobile phone in the toilet of the KFC takeaway he worked at in Coleraine at the time.

His then wife, Mollie Cooper, courageously shopped her own husband to the police after she came across the videos which included one of a young child going to the toilet.

In an extraordinary interview with the Sunday World at the time, she revealed how, after going to police, she later discovered Cooper had secretly filmed her going to the toilet - as some sort of practice run.

She also claimed Cooper had subjected her to abuse while she battled cancer and she felt Cooper should have been jailed for the convictions of voyeurism rather than being handed two years' probation.

Despite being lucky to avoid prison, Cooper decided to stick two fingers to the justice system by starting up a drug dealing business which included him running it with mobile phones he was banned from owning.

His new partner, 25-year-old Sara Bednarek, was also convicted of dealing cannabis after the home they shared in Coleraine was raided.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Close

Sara Bednarek

Sara Bednarek

Sara Bednarek

Cooper's drug dealing was deemed serious enough to be dealt with at the Crown Court while his breaches of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) as well as his driving offences were dealt with on a parallel basis at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

Cocky Cooper entered guilty pleas to ten drugs offences spread across three separate indictments - nine of possessing, supplying and offering to supply class B cannabis and herbal cannabis and one count of offering to supply class C diazepam, all committed on various dates between January 1 2019 and June 17 last year.

It emerged he had been stopped by police in July 2019 and officers found eight grams of herbal cannabis hidden in his crotch area.

Police then searched the Culmore gardens flat he shared with Bednarek and while there she took a phone call from a person she called Nathan, telling him she "couldn't meet him tonight" and police also discovered a suspected dealing list.

"On that suspected dealing list was the name Nathan with a figure of £145 and £325 beside it," said prosecuting barrister Mr Farrell, adding that "a small amount of cannabis" was found in a garage which Cooper accepted belonged to him as well as another suspected dealing list.

Two mobile phones were seized and examined and their contents showed the pair had been involved in selling and supplying cannabis.

During interviews they both eventually accepted that was the case and Mr Farrell described it as "street dealing to order (using phones) rather than wholesale transactions".

In that case Bednarek was handed a one-year jail sentence which was suspended for three years for possessing with intent to supply cannabis.

Cooper was then caught for a third time with drugs in June 2020 when police stopped him in his car.

They went to his home yet again where they discovered another mobile phone which his partner Bednarek said belonged to him.

"Miss Bednarek also stated that her partner kept his drugs in the garage and showed them a couple of bags containing cannabis. In total 7.5g of herbal cannabis was discovered on the person of the defendant and 22g found at his home," said the lawyer.

The main aggravating feature, said Mr Farrell, is the fact that for two of the sets of offences Cooper was on bail for "identical offending".

In relation to the drugs offences, Judge Patricia Smyth deferred passing sentence until March 28 next year, ordering the creep to have hair follicle tests to ensure that he remains drug free.

She told Cooper that if he managed to comply with the terms of the deferral, he can expect a "non-custodial evidence - this is essentially your opportunity to prove yourself".

Last week Cooper appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court to be dealt with for the SOPO breaches.

He was warned by a judge he would go to jail if he committed further offences in the next year.

As well as admitting to three counts of having a mobile phone he also admitted driving with neither a licence nor insurance on both June 19 and July 2 2019.

District Judge Peter King handed Cooper a three-month prison sentences for each of the SOPO breaches, a 12-month driving disqualification and fines totalling £450 for the driving offences.

Cooper's former wife told us how she discovered his shocking secret toilet films.

"The first video I saw was of a child going to the toilet. I just threw the phone down in shock," the mum of two said in 2018, after his conviction.

"I rang his mother and she told me to stay there. I looked again and I could see about four more [films].

"I couldn't believe it. You could see him setting up the video, his face as clear as ever.

"Within about 20 minutes I was going to the police station with his phone in my hand."

Mollie later discovered she was also a victim after prosecutors told her Cooper had secretly recorded her on a "dry run".

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy