Brave schoolgirl 'has closure' as Sunderland attacker who groomed her on Snapchat and sexually assaulted her is jailed
A brave schoolgirl who courageously outed the attacker who sexually assaulted her says she feels she has closure.
Pervert Andrew Cook lured the schoolgirl to an empty house under the guise of taking her to a party in Sunderland in April 2019.
At the time he was 32 and she was underage.
He picked her up in a taxi but instead of taking her to the fun-filled party he had promised, she was taken to an off-licence and then to a empty house.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that once indoors and alone, Cook, of Geddes Road, Sunderland, engaged in sexual acts with the teen, as she "tried to pull away" and "repeatedly asked her to have sexual intercourse with him".
Prosecutor Jo Kidd told the court that during an earlier meeting with the girl, Cook had "put cocaine into her mouth even though she didn't want it".
After he sexually assaulted her, Cook rang a taxi to come and collect her and the brave victim then confided in her mother who rang officers, and Cook was brought in for questioning.
The 35-year-old denied all wrong-doing and said his victim was "lying". He denied five charges of sexual activity with a child during a trial earlier this year but was found guilty by jurors who convicted him of all charges.
The teenager bravely penned a statement to be read aloud in court, she spoke of suffering flashbacks and how she found it hard to open up but when she confided in her mum she felt relief.
She said: “After finding out he had been found guilty of all charges, it has highlighted what happened was wrong and I was not responsible.
“Even though I still have times when I am upset, I do feel like I have closure.”
A judge sentenced Cook to seven years imprisonment and he must sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register for life.
Detective Constable Stacey Collins, of Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, has worked closely with the victim since she came forward.
She said: “Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the victim in this case for not only having the bravery to come forward and tell us what happened but also the courage and resilience to continue to work with the officers throughout the investigation.
“In a statement she wrote that was read aloud in court, she spoke of feeling relieved to confide in her mum and closure at her attacker’s charge.
“I hope her words encourage others to seek support, to confide in a loved one and always remember it is not your fault and your loved ones and police will listen and support you.”
Anyone who has been a victim of rape, sexual assault or abuse, recent or historic, is asked to contact police on 101 or report via the "Tell Us Something" page of the Northumbria Police website. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Victims can also contact Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116 who will give independent advice and support.