London 2012 Olympic torch bearer jailed for sex offences
- 22 November 2013
- From the section Kent
A paedophile who evaded justice for 30 years has been jailed after his victim found he had been chosen to run in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay and reported him to police again.
Graham Cooper, of New Romney, Kent, admitted indecent assault on a girl under 14 and indecency with a child.
The 69-year-old was jailed for three years at Canterbury Crown Court.
He had been selected to take part in the Kent leg of the torch relay because of his charity work in Aldington.
A previous complaint by Cooper's victim was not pursued by police but the court heard she was incensed at seeing him in the torch relay, contacted officers again and the retired butcher was charged.
She had suffered sex attacks as a girl between the ages of 10 and 13 in the early 1980s.
Cooper admitted two counts of indecent assault on a girl aged under 14 and one count of indecency with a child but denied other charges, which went to trial last month.
A jury convicted him of indecent assault but cleared him of an alleged rape and two more indecent assaults.
Jailing him, Judge Adele Williams said the abuse Cooper committed had a "profound and long-lasting" impact on his victim, who had undergone counselling and therapy.
She said he had a "total lack of insight" for what he had done.
Cooper was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and told to sign the sex offenders' register, both for 10 years.
Defence counsel Peter Alcock had asked the judge to take account of Cooper's age, the historic nature of the offences and his health problems, adding that serving an immediate jail term would be "more onerous" for him than 30 years ago.
He said Cooper had "lived a life with many positives" and good character references had been provided by figures including his vicar.