Sunday 18 March 2018

'Vile, evil' Cooke 'had it in him' to kill

Paedophile Eamon Cooke. Picture Garrett White / Collins
Paedophile Eamon Cooke. Picture Garrett White / Collins

Jane O'Faherty

One of paedophile Eamon Cooke's victims has said his death was "liberation" for her.

Sophia, whose name was changed to protect her identity, said the convicted child abuser "had it in him" to kill.

The former pirate radio DJ is now suspected of killing Philip Cairns, the schoolboy who went missing 30 years ago.

Sophia told Newstalk's Lunchtime that his retrial in 2007 gave her no sense of relief.

"I just felt glad he was back behind bars," she said.

It was only when Cooke died earlier this month that her fear dissipated.

"For me, that's the liberation," she said. "I didn't know what life was like without fear."

She also described Cooke as the "most vile, evil, violent, psychotic individual" she had ever met."

"He had no conscience," she said. "I don't know if he killed Philip Cairns but he certainly had it in him."

Sophia said Cooke first started abusing her when she was just seven years old. She added that Cooke would lure local children to play in his garage, which had several TV screens and telephones.

She also said that Cooke "liked to pair children up" before abusing them.

"As the abuse went on and become worse, he would show me porn," she added. "By the age of nine, he was taking me naked into his bed, along with another victim."

Sophia was 10 years old when the abuse stopped, after staff at Cooke's radio station turned against him.

She eventually told her parents about what she had experienced when she turned 18. However, authorities took no action when she made a statement to gardai, she said.

"I then had to undergo three years of intimidation from Cooke," she said, adding that the paedophile had arrived at the shop where she was working and told her he would "get" her.

Sophia was brought to court aged 21, when she went to Cooke's home in the middle of the night to confront him over his crimes.

Gardaí then asked her to make another statement in 2000, which led to her giving evidence at Cooke's first trial in 2003. He was released in 2006 following the quashing of his conviction.

"It was terrifying. This was not someone who was going to come out and leave children alone," Sophia said.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News