November 2011

PAEDOPHILE PREYED ON VULNERABLE GIRLS

A PAEDOPHILE admitted having sex with a schoolgirl he targeted due to her vulnerability.

Peter Cook of Grizebeck, Kirkby also pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the same 12-year-old and another girl of the same age.

The 38-year-old former Dalton man was set to appear before Barrow Crown Court yesterday for trial but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute.

Detective Sergeant John Dilks said Cook had shown nothing but arrogance towards his victims and the police throughout the investigation.

Cook pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse with a girl aged 12 and indecent assault.

He also admitted a further two counts of indecent assault against another girl, also aged 12. Cook pleaded guilty to a charge against another schoolgirl of the same age.

The offences all took place in Barrow in 1998.

Leading investigator DS Dilks said: “Cook befriended these young girls and then took advantage as they were vulnerable children.

“The victim only came forward in June last year and Cook was arrested in October.

“As a result of our investigation, two further victims came forward and he was charged in December.

“He likely changed his plea prior to trial because of the strong evidence against him.

“He must have thought that with the passage of time he had got away with it.

“That was reflected in his attitude and arrogance towards the victims and the police once he was arrested.

“He carefully identified his victims and took advantage because of their vulnerability.”

DS Dilks said he couldn’t praise the victims enough for their courage, strength and quality of their evidence.

He added: “I can’t speak highly enough about their bravery in coming forward to the police.

“This case emphasises that once again that it doesn’t matter about the passage of time.

“The police and Crown Prosecution Service will work together to put together to build a strong case.”