A 15-year-old boy who raped two young children in a Peterborough park can today be named after The Evening Telegraph secured a court ruling allowing identification.
A 15-year-old boy who raped two young children in a Peterborough park can today be named after The Evening Telegraph secured a court ruling allowing identification.Shane Cooke, whose address was given in court as Marketstead, Boston, Lincolnshire, but who used to live in Redmile Walk, Welland, Peterborough, carried out the assault on two boys aged just six and eight in a public park last year.
Last week, the teenager was given a two-year sentence to be served in a youth offenders’ institute after being found guilty of two counts of rape at a trial at Peterborough Crown Court in March, but could not be named under the Children and Young Persons Act, which prohibits the identification of juveniles taking part in court proceedings.
A request from The Evening Telegraph for the naming restrictions to be lifted was agreed by Judge Nicholas Coleman, but he said the defendant could only be named seven days after the hearing, in order not to cause harm to Cooke’s family.
Judge Coleman lifted the order because it was in the public interest for residents to know who had committed the serious crime, to alert others to Cooke’s offending behaviour to prevent further offending and because the offences had an affect on a number of people.
The court was told Cooke carried out the attack in Woodfield Park, in Welland, Peterborough, in August last year.
Other children in the park had been scared away by Cooke’s dog, and the two youngsters tried to hide from the pet in a bush.
However, Cooke – aged just 14 at the time – followed them into the bushes, put his hands round their necks, and pulled out a 3in kitchen knife, before assaulting them.
The two boys then ran off after their ordeal.
After being told of the incident, their parents called the police and the boys were interviewed by special officers trained to deal with young victims.
They also identified their attacker at a video identity parade.
Police searches at the teenager’s home found the clothes worn by him during the attack and one of his friends also placed him in the park at a similar time.
When sentencing Cooke, Judge Coleman said: “Your case is not an easy one.
“You present a risk, and unless that risk is addressed then someone else could become a victim of your crime. I hope not.
“There is, of course, a wide age gap between you and your victims.
“They were only eight and six at the time but, fortunately, evidence suggests that there will be no long-term effects on the victims.
“Your victims were cornered, and it was the threat or use of violence which caused you to prevail.”