By Chris King • 28 October 2021 • 18:17
Sidney Cooke, regarded as the most notorious paedophile in Britain’s prison system, has been refused bail for the tenth time. Cooke, aged 94, is a former farm labourer, and fairground worker, originally from Stroud in Gloucestershire.
He was handed two life sentences in his trial on December 17, 1999, at Wolverhampton Crown Court, after being found guilty of a string of sexual assaults on two young brothers. A parole panel has sat at an oral hearing today, Thursday, October 28, and refused his latest appeal for parole.
A source for the Parole Board told The Mirror earlier this week, “Just because he is 94, does not mean he is no longer a danger to the public. You can still pose a risk regardless of age. A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims”.
They added, “Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists, and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison, as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing”.
“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority. Under current legislation, he will be eligible for a further review in due course. The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice”, they concluded.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board told The Mirror today, “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has refused the release of Sidney Cooke following an oral hearing. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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