Paedophile child murderer Sidney Cooke, 95, ‘is granted a new appeal in his bid for freedom’

Paedophile child murderer Sidney Cooke, 95, 'is granted a new appeal in his bid for freedom' 2
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Paedophile child murderer Sidney Cooke has been ‘granted a new appeal in his bid for freedom’ after his last 10 requests to the parole board were all rejected.

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Sidney Cooke, 95, a child molester and serial killer, from Stroud, was set to die behind bars.

However, according to the Sun, Cooke has been granted a new appeal hearing next year. 

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Parole chiefs have had his case referred to them, with a review now underway.

It is expected that a full hearing could happen early next year, according to sources.   

Cooke will be one of the oldest prisoners to come before the parole board in recent years. 

A result would be released within weeks and could mean that he would be released or move to an open jail.

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Sidney Cooke, 95, pictured, a child molester and serial killer, was set to die behind bars. However, according to the Sun , Cooke has been granted a new appeal hearing next year

Sidney Cooke, 95, pictured, a child molester and serial killer, was set to die behind bars. However, according to the Sun , Cooke has been granted a new appeal hearing next year

It comes after his tenth bid for freedom along with a request to move him into an open prison was rejected by a parole board last October.

The Parole Board said at the time: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the other evidence presented … the panel was not satisfied that Mr Cooke was suitable for release … nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that Mr Cooke should be transferred to open prison.’

The document detailing the decision described Cooke, at the time of his offending, as having ‘manipulative and controlling behaviour for his own gratification’ and believing he could have sex ‘as and when he wanted’.

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It added: ‘His behaviour in prison had been mixed and had provoked concerns and even allegations over the years.’

The 'Dirty Dozen' gang Cooke was part of paid £5 each to rape Jason Swift, 14, pictured, who was a schoolboy that vanished from his East London home in 1985. In November 1985, Jason's naked dead body was found on a farm in Essex

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ gang Cooke was part of paid £5 each to rape Jason Swift, 14, pictured, who was a schoolboy that vanished from his East London home in 1985. In November 1985, Jason’s naked dead body was found on a farm in Essex

When he was jailed for life with a minimum term of five years in 1999, a judge described Cooke – who is also known by the surname Lomas – as a paedophile ‘of the highest level of risk’ and his victims said they hoped he would die behind bars.

Then 72, he had admitted a campaign of abuse against two brothers in the 1970s which began when they were just 13 and spanned five years.

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He has also been linked to the unsolved murder of seven-year-old Mark Tildesley, who disappeared in 1984 after visiting a funfair near his home in Wokingham, Berkshire, and is suspected of being involved in the kidnap and murder of six-year-old Barry Lewis.

The 95-year-old travelled the country preying on vulnerable youngsters, setting up his children’s Test Your Strength machine in fairgrounds and using this as an opportunity to lure boys before drugging them and subjecting them to brutal assaults.

Cooke, called ‘Hissing Sid’, was part of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, a sick paedophile ring which abused young boys in the 1980s and was suspected of being responsible for the killing of up to nine young boys during sex orgies.

Operating from a flat on the Kingsmead estate in Hackney, east London, the gang hired rent boys or snatched children off the streets and subjected them to sexual torture.

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HMP Wakefield, pictured, where Sidney Cooke has been in prison since 1999 after he was jailed for life for killings

HMP Wakefield, pictured, where Sidney Cooke has been in prison since 1999 after he was jailed for life for killings 

The gang paid £5 each to rape Jason Swift, 14, who was a schoolboy that vanished from his East London home in 1985.

In November 1985, Jason’s naked dead body was found on a farm in Essex.  

For his role in the killing, Cooke was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

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Dirty Dozen members Leslie Bailey, Robert Oliver and Steven Barrell were also convicted for Swift’s murder.

Cooke was released from jail in April 1999, after serving nine years.

But after his release he was immediately taken into voluntary custody for his own safety. But detectives, convinced he was responsible for other similar unsolved crimes, kept his file open.

Cooke was released from jail in April 1999, after serving nine years. But after his release he was immediately taken into voluntary custody for his own safety. Pictured: Superintendent David Edwards who spoke on Panorama about the public anger after Cooke's release

Cooke was released from jail in April 1999, after serving nine years. But after his release he was immediately taken into voluntary custody for his own safety. Pictured: Superintendent David Edwards who spoke on Panorama about the public anger after Cooke’s release 

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One year later he was rearrested for historic abuse of two boys in the 1970s, whom he befriended while working on fairgrounds more than 30 years ago.

He was also accused of the rape of a young woman.  

In an unexpected move during his 1999 trial at Manchester Crown Court, Cooke suddenly changed his plea to guilty and admitted ten offences against the youngsters and subsequently received two life sentences.

Four charges of rape, a further three of indecent assault and one of buggery were left on the court file.

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Cooke was convicted for Jason Swift's murder alongside Dirty Dozen members Leslie Bailey, pictured, Robert Oliver and Steven Barrell

Cooke was convicted for Jason Swift’s murder alongside Dirty Dozen members Leslie Bailey, pictured, Robert Oliver and Steven Barrell

Bailey was convicted in 1992 of the manslaughter of seven-year-old Mark Tildesley who was raped in Cooke’s caravan while visiting a fairground near Wokingham, Berkshire, in 1984.

He was also convicted of the murder of Barry Lewis, six, who was abducted in June 1991 before being sexually abused by up to eight men. 

Bailey was murdered in his prison cell in 1993 and Oliver was last reported to be living in a bail hostel in Guildford, Surrey. The whereabouts of Barrell are unknown.

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A spokeswoman for the Parole Board said: ‘The parole review has now been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes.

‘A hearing is expected to take place early next year.’

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