Nicola ‘Gordon’ Cope – Atherstone
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Transexual woman jailed after raping Tamworth girls when she was a man
A MAN who raped two young Tamworth girls before undergoing a sex change operation has been jailed for 16 years.
Nicola Cope – formerly known as ‘Gordon’ – groomed the girls for sex before systematically abusing them over a number of years, a jury at Stafford Crown Court ruled.
Cope, now aged 57, of St Marys Courtyard, Atherstone, was found guilty of a total of nine charges of rape and four of indecent assault on the two girls between 1987 and 2003 when the defendant was living as a man in Tamworth.
She was cleared of indecently assaulting a third young girl.
‘Gordon’ underwent a sex change in 2008.
Judge Mark Eades told her: “These are dreadful offences. You groomed mercilessly in order to commit sexual acts against [these girls].
“It is difficult to imagine a worse case.
“You knowingly set out to groom these children so you could have intercourse with them. It went on for a long time.
“Ordinarily I would consider you a dangerous person, but now you have undergone your sex change, the likelihood of repetition is ruled out.
“You have never once shown any remorse or sorrow for what you have done.”
Along with the jail sentence, Cope was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life and banned from working with children, also for life.
Mr Peter Arnold, prosecuting, said Cope’s sexual abuse began when one of the girls was aged either four, five or six. The other girl was aged seven when Cope began to abuse her.
Mr Arnold told the jurors they may be wondering why, if the abuse happened “a fair time ago”, it had only just come to court.
“You will be aware from all those cases in the papers, about celebrities: talking about intimate things, people bottle it up when they are younger, are confused about how they will be judged, are threatened by the abuser.
“It is commonplace for those things not to come out until much later, some people go to their graves with it.”
Cope had denied all the charges, claiming the abuse never happened. Her barrister, Miss Siobhan Collins, said: “There is no mitigation about these offences.”