Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Cookie Monster' paedophile dies while on temporary release

Robin Schiller

Published 07/06/2016 | 13:41

Paedophile Eamon Cooke
Paedophile Eamon Cooke

A man sentenced to 10 years in prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting two young girls has died while on temporary release.

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Eamon Cooke (79), a pirate radio DJ who went by the name Captain Cooke, was found guilty of 42 counts of sexual assault.

The father of 11 had previously staged an arson attack on the home of one of his victims after she went to the gardai about the attacks.

During his trial, the court heard his young victims called him 'The Cookie Monster'.

He offered them money after each incident - and threatened them that they would be put in a home if they told anyone of the assaults.

Cooke - with an address in Tallaght - was granted temporary release from Arbour Hill prison. He had been staying in a Dublin hospice over the past few weeks because of his deteriorating health. He died late last week.

Arson

Cooke had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges during his 2007 trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Insp Gerard Kelly told the court that Cooke had eight previous convictions, including a four-year suspended sentence for an arson attack on one of the complainants' homes involved in a 2003 trial.

Cooke was convicted of the sexual assault of four young girls, but the sentence was later quashed on a legal technicality.

One victim, who had attended court throughout the trial, shouted "I hope you rot in hell" at Cooke when he was sentenced.

After sentencing Cooke to 10 years, Ms Justice Maureen Clark told the two victims and their friends and family: "It has been a long five or six years for all of you, and maybe a lifetime for some.

"I hope today gives you some sense of finality and you never have to appear in court again."

Cooke, who was a father to 11 children between the ages of four and 18 when he was sentenced, continued to deny the 42 charges of indecent assault on two complainants on dates from January 1974 to May 1978 at an address in Dublin.

He said the allegations were made to blacken his name.

Naked

One of the victims said the abuse began when she was aged about seven and continued until some time before her 11th birthday.

She said Cooke made her and another victim lie naked in his double bed while he lay between them, also naked.

She said he would face one of them and "fondle" them while he made the other stroke his back and his buttocks.

After these sex acts he would give her money, "sometimes even 50p".

Another of the women said Cooke took them into the garden, where he filmed them and told them to dance the can-can. The woman described how she used to lie awake at night convinced she had "a baby inside her" after learning the facts of life at school.

Only last year, the paedophile had an appeal against his conviction rejected by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

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