A 'devious' internet paedophile has been jailed for 14 years for raping a 12 -year-old girl after grooming her on a social networking site.
Father of four, Gary Cooper, 47, who called himself 'Chantelle' to befriend his victim, abducted and raped her twice days after making contact with her. The girls' ordeal was described as wreaking 'incalculable psychological damage'.
Cooper joined the social network Tagged.com and began grooming the schoolgirl. He told her she was 'gorgeous' and having got her phone number claimed to be the fictitious girls' father, confessing he found her attractive. Just days later, he picked up the youngster from her hometown of Basingstoke, Hants, took her back to his house and raped her.
The terrified girls' phone battery had died and she could not call for help. Prosecutor Rob Bryan said: 'Cooper said he wanted to undress her. She said she did not want that to happen. But he took off her bra, kissed her stomach and asked if he could take her trousers off. She said no. He threatened that he would cut them off.' Cooper - who did not use a condom - raped her again five minutes later, despite her protestations that it hurt. Police stormed the house, alerted by the victim's friend, who Cooper had earlier dropped at a house in Southend, Essex.
Cooper, from Hereford, told the officers: 'It's not like I have slit her throat.' The girls had been frightened, while in his car, that Cooper would murder them if the victim did not go home with him, the court heard. A medical examination confirmed the girl - who had been a virgin - had been raped.
In a statement the girls' mother said her 'very warm-hearted, loving girl' had been transformed by her experiences last July. 'There is not an element of our lives that has not changed and it is hard to imagine a time when this will not be part of our lives.
My daughter finds it impossible to talk about what happened and it is this I find hardest to cope with. To me, the day of the rape will be the day I lost my daughter.'
Judge Susan Evans sentenced him to 14 years and four months in prison yesterday. Cooper sat slouched in his chair and showed no emotion.
Evans said: 'You are a sexual predator. Your offending is highly manipulative and sophisticated. 'Your intention was to have sexual intercourse. With your first victim, you found out what her weaknesses were and sought to gain sympathy by saying things about yourself. It seems to me it was a determined and sophisticated piece of grooming, inventing as you did a daughter as a cover story for yourself.'
A 12 year-old stood 'no chance' of fighting him off, Judge Evans said. She added: 'It is rare to find genital injury but it is a measure of your brutality to that child that that was found. The psychological damage to her is incalculable.' Cooper admitted sexual activity with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming, five counts of taking indecent photographs and making an indecent video.
Det.Inspector Storey said: 'This was a particularly awful set of circumstances created by a devious man who targeted extremely vulnerable young girls. He then exploited them for his own deviant sexual needs. 'Cooper’s crimes serve as a warning to parents and teenagers about the importance of online safety.' He said.