November 2015

South Yorkshire Police officer jailed for grooming schoolgirl, 15


A South Yorkshire police officer who ‘blackmailed’ a 15-year-old girl to send him a naked photo of herself has been jailed for 18 months.

The week-long trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard how PC Daniel Cookson, 30, got close to the victim just after her 15th birthday.

The jury returned the unanimous guilty verdict in just over two hours. Cookson’s supporters consoled each other in the public gallery as the sex text cop was led away.

Cookson, a police officer in Rotherham, had previously told the court that ‘he loved her’ and said it was an ‘intense electronic relationship’.

However he denied the charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and said the victim was ‘lying’.

The jury heard how the text exchange between the pair got ‘more and more sexualised’ and the victim asked it to stop.

Stephen Wood prosecuting said: “She said she couldn’t take things any further.

“This prompted the defendant to tell his victim that the only way it would stop would be if she sent a picture of herself to him.

“She knew he meant naked because he had told her that he has pictures in his mind of her naked. So she did.”

Mr Wood added this resorted to blackmail.

Cookson, of Dickens Road, Worksop, was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The PC, who was based in Rotherham, was suspended after he was arrested and charged in August last year.

South Yorkshire Police said a “misconduct investigation will be considered by the force’s Professional Standards Department”.