April 2021

Teen molested boy who asked to retrieve his football from garden

A teenager molested a young boy who knocked at the house asking for his football back.

And Swindon Crown Court heard Lee Cook sexually assaulted another boy after inviting him into his bedroom.

But the 26-year-old, who was around 16 at the time of the offending, was spared an immediate prison sentence after Recorder Elisabeth Bussey-Jones heard he was a youth at the time, had developmental issues and had remained out of trouble since the sexual assaults were committed.

Prosecutor James Haskell told the court that Cook’s assaults on two boys were reported to the police in 2017 after the victims’ respective family members happened to learn of the incidents.

The first victim, who was of primary school age, had been playing football in an alleyway by the defendant’s house when his ball was kicked into the teenager’s garden.

Cook told the boy he had another ball inside the house and took him upstairs to his bedroom. He told the victim to get on the bed and remove his clothes. Cook also undressed himself and touched the boy’s privates.

The defendant told the boy not to tell anyone as he’d get in trouble.

The second victim, who was under primary school age and not known to the first boy, told police Cook had got him to pull down his trousers. Cook, who was naked, performed oral sex on the boy. The assault stopped when the boy’s brother walked into the room.

The assaults were said to have been committed around a decade ago when Cook was 16 or 17 years old.

They were reported to the police in mid-2017. Mr Haskell said: “There happened to be a conversation between [the second victim’s] grandmother and [the first victim’s] mother when both families suddenly realised both boys had independently made complaints about the defendant’s behaviour and it was then the matter was reported to the police.”

Cook was interviewed in September 2017 and made limited admissions, although denied performing oral sex on one of the victims.

Lee Cook, of Mannington Park, Swindon, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault by touching.

Sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Recorder Bussey-Jones said: “These two young boys, now young men, would undoubtedly have been deeply affected by what you did.” The victims would live with Cook’s actions for the rest of their lives, she added. 

He was made subject to a supervision order for two years and must complete a rehabilitation programme. He was given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting his victims and will be placed on the sex offender’s register for a decade.