Paedophile handed 18-year jail term for sexual offences against children

Matthew Cook, of Bramber Road, Gosport, 29, sentenced to 18 years for a total of seven sexual offences against children. Police picture
Matthew Cook, of Bramber Road, Gosport, 29, sentenced to 18 years for a total of seven sexual offences against children. Police picture

A PAEDOPHILE who committed serious sexual offences against two young children has been jailed for a total of 18 years.

Matthew Cook, 29, of Bramber Road, Gosport, who formerly lived in both the Chichester and Bognor Regis areas, was told he will serve at least 12 years in prison when he was sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on Thursday.

Cook had been found guilty of seven historic sexual offences at an earlier trial - five counts of indecent assault against a child, one count of indecency with a child and one count involving a serious sexual offence against a child under the age of 13.

Some of the offences took place in the Chichester and Bognor areas as well as at an address in Farnborough.

Passing sentence, judge Christopher Park QC said: “I have seen at the trial, and on the victim films made over several years as they grow up and come to terms with the emotions of what you have done.

“The impact statements detail graphically that what you have done has wholly impacted on their lives and continues to do so.

“It was my view, even before reading the pre-sentence report, that you pose a continued danger to the public.

“You pose a serious risk of serious harm in particular to prepubescent children.”

The court heard that Cook groomed and sexually abused two girls under the age of 13 over a number of years, and that his abuse had continued to escalate.

Judge Parker QC remarked on Cook’s continued denial of any guilt, and the fact that it was only the ‘brave actions’ of the victims who brought the offences to light before they then gave evidence to court.

Because of the seriousness of the offences Cook was handed an extended sentence for one of the charges.

Cook showed little emotion as he was sentenced to a total of 26 years, 18 of which will be served in prison with a further eight years on licence.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register and handed a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order.