A former Brightlingsea man has been jailed for five years for sexual offences against a child.
Antony Cook, 77, admitted three counts of sexual assault and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 27, 2020.
The offences took place at his former home address in Brightlingsea over two-and-a-half years. Cook was jailed on June 18 and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years. He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
In court, the girl he abused bravely told the court how she had been affected by his crimes. In her victim impact statement, which Essex Police were given permission to share by the victim and her family, she said: “When he was doing those things to me when I was younger I didn’t know it was wrong. I just thought it was normal.
“When, through learning at school that what he was doing was wrong and not normal was when this started having more impact on me. I was confused and found it hard to figure it all out."
She added: “I’ve tried my best to forget about it and put it to the back of my mind, but I know it will always be with me, it has changed who I am. I now know none of this is my fault, and that for all the damage he has done to me he is not going to break me.”
After the court case, Detective Constable Rachel Evemy said: “I would like to praise this young victim for her incredible courage in speaking out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of someone she trusted and I hope that this result brings her some comfort and closure. I hope her bravery encourages others who also are suffering to feel they can speak out.”
• Anyone who has been affected by child sexual abuse, no matter how long ago, can contact specialist officers at Essex Police for help and support by calling 101 and asking to speak to the child abuse investigation team.
You can also contact independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
(News supplied by Essex Police)