Paedophile scout leader branded an 'appalling abuser' for molesting girls, aged 6, on camp 'betrayal'

A PAEDOPHILE scout leader who was jailed for molesting six-year-old girls, taking indecent photographs and voyeurism at scouting camps he helped to run has been branded an ‘appalling abuser’ after his ‘betrayal’.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 2:26 pm

Student Oliver Cooper, 27, from Nor'Bren Avenue in Bognor Regis was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday of child abuse charges.

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They included two counts of sexual assault on a girl aged six, one count of sexual assault on a girl also aged six, one count of taking indecent photographs of a child, and 13 counts of voyeurism.

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Jailed paedophile: Oliver Cooper

Cooper, formerly from Hopton in Staffordshire, was sentenced to a total of six years imprisonment.

Cooper was a Beaver Scouts leader at the time of the offences, which took place more than two years ago.

An NSPCC spokeswoman said: ‘By committing these horrific crimes, Cooper betrayed the trust placed in him by the children he was supposed to protect, as well as their parents and guardians.

‘It will have taken great bravery for one of the girls to tell police what Cooper had done, but her actions have helped bring this appalling abuser to justice.

‘It is vital that his victims are now receiving all the help and support they need to move on from his awful offences.’

He will be on the Sex Offenders Register for life, was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order .

The conviction follows a lengthy investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigation Unit after a child disclosed that he had sexually touched her.

As a result of that disclosure Cooper was arrested and indecent images and videos of children getting undressed in private were found on his phone and laptop.

Det Con Rees Hopcraft said: ‘The young girls involved showed tremendous bravery throughout the investigation and were supported by specially trained officers.

‘Despite the overwhelming evidence, Cooper continued to protest his innocence and thus forced the victims to give evidence, which was done via a video link to the court.’

Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111. Adults concerned about the wellbeing of a child can phone the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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