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Radio boss indecently assaulted little girls, court is told

A FORMER pirate radio operator has gone on trial in the Central Criminal Court accused of indecent assault on two girls in the late 1970s.

Eamonn Cooke (70) ,with addresses at Heatherview Avenue, Tallaght, and Wheatfields Court, Clondalkin, has pleaded not guilty to 42 charges of indecent assault between January 1976 and May 1978.

Patrick McCarthy, prosecuting, told the jury that the offences started when the victims were seven and eight and continued until they were 10.

One of them told the court that she and some friends had discovered the door to Cooke's garage open while they were out playing. She said they had "sneaked in" and found several television sets with the screens missing. They were playing at "being on TV" when Cooke walked in.

He asked them if they wanted to be on TV. When they said yes he told them to return in a couple of days when he would film them.

She told Mr McCarthy that when she and a friend returned to Cooke's house a few days later he brought them into the garden and told them to do the cancan. "To us it was funny to see each other's knickers. We were just being kids."

A few days later Cooke asked them around to see the film and while she and her friend were watching it he came up behind her and put his hand in her underwear.

After this occasion, she said, she and her friend went round to Cooke's house on a regular basis. These visits were always in the absence of Cooke's wife.

She said that whenever there was "sexual contact" Cooke would give them money - "tuppence or five pence; then as the sexual activity increased it was 10p or 20p".

She said that on one occasion Cooke pulled down his trousers and exposed himself and asked them to touch him.

She said that after this Cooke started taking them upstairs and making them lie naked in his double bed, while he lay between them, also naked. He would face one of them and "fondle" her while he made the other stroke his back.

She said Cooke told them they would be put in a home if they told anyone about what was happening.

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She said that once Cooke started running a radio station from his house the abuse became less frequent.

She talked to her friends about running away after a rumour that videos had been found. She stopped going to Cooke's house.

The trial continues on Monday.

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