Child sex offender locked up for 'appalling' crimes committed nearly 20 years ago

Richard Andrew Cook, 54, was sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court on Monday for the offending which started back ...

Richard Andrew Cook, 54, was sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court on Monday for the offending which started back in 1999.

A man has been jailed for an "appalling catalogue" of sexual abuse against two young girls which began nearly two decades ago and continued for two years.

Richard Andrew Cook, 54, was jailed for more than three years in the New Plymouth District Court on Monday after earlier pleading guilty to four charges of indecent assault on a girl under 12 and one of an indecent act with a girl under 12.

Judge Kevin Glubb said Cook came into contact with the two girls in 1999, when victim one was aged 10 and the other was eight.

He went into their bedroom while they were asleep and knelt down beside the bed of his older victim, who awoke to find him touching himself before he sexually assaulted her.

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"When she protested, you told her that it was all right, that it was normal," Glubb told Cook.

Cook assaulted the girl the same way a number of times over a two year period and when she refused to participate, he told her no one would believe her if she told anyone about it.

He also committed an indecent act in front of her a number of times and encouraged her to watch.

Glubb said the offending against Cook's second victim started around the same time, when he twice lay down behind her while she was sleeping and she woke to find him sexually assaulting her.

"On the first occasion you were interrupted by her older sister coming into the room and you just simply rolled over and pretended to sleep," Glubb said.

"On the second occasion it lasted longer as you had closed the door beforehand."

On another occasion, Cook was naked and grabbed the victim's hand before he forced her to touch him.

He only stopped when she began to cry.

"This is an appalling catalogue frankly, Mr Cook," Glubb said after outlining the offending.

He said there were a number of aggravating factors including the premeditation, the vulnerability of the victims and the breach of trust as well as the intrusiveness of the offending and the prolonged period over which it happened.

There was also a large impact on the victims.

"In the victim impact statements that have been read to this court it is very clear the effect this form of abuse has had on these two young women," Glubb said.

"As the court knows the ripples from offending such as this can radiate out for many years and often have lifelong and lasting impacts.

"I see no mitigation in this offending."

He said the pre-sentence report had found Cook still showed no remorse for his actions.

"In essence you continue to deny this offending," he said.

Cook was assessed at a low risk of re-offending but his risk of harm was assessed at medium.

"The report writer in fact recommends home detention," Glubb said.

He instead sentenced him to three years and five months imprisonment, which also resulted in Cook being placed on the sex offender register.

 - Stuff

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