July 2008

Child sex fiend jailed for seven years

A PAEDOPHILE who fled the country the day his court verdict was due to be announced has been brought to justice after being caught in Spain.

Peter Cockayne had sat through a four-week trial where he was accused of sexually assaulting girls as young as 10 but on May 21 he absconded.

The jury found him guilty of 11 counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of sexual assault and one count of indecent assault in his absence.

A manhunt involving Interpol had been launched to prevent him following in the footsteps of disgraced former pop star Gary Glitter and reaching Thailand, where he had told people he was headed.

But he was found and flown back to Britain and at Guildford Crown Court on Friday he was sentenced to seven years in jail, including 18 months for failing to show up in court.

But one of his victims has warned he is a dangerous man who should be jailed for longer.

She said: “Seven years is not enough at all. We have to live with this for the rest of our lives. He is a danger to society.”

Cockayne, who lived in Dartmouth Avenue, Sheerwater, when many of the offences were committed, had accused the girls of collaborating against him, forcing them to re-live their ordeals in court.

His campaign of abuse began when he molested one girl in 2000 while living in Wales and continued when he moved to Sheerwater.

Judge Michael Addison said: “From about May 1999 to about May 2006 you committed sexual offences against five different girls. You gained their friendship and perhaps the admiration as a worldly man. The fact is you have shown no remorse.

“No doubt having little hope of your chances of success before the jury you decided to flee the country.”

As Cockayne, whose most recent address was given as Highland Road, Camberley, was taken away, his victims and their families lined the streets and screamed ‘rot in hell’.