William Cooper, from Manchester, tore a hole in the girl’s legging with his earphones and gave her a lovebite during the attack that left her ‘frightened of men’
Image: William Cooper/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)
A teenager who raped a schoolgirl after arranging a date over Snapchat has been sentenced to four years in prison.
William Cooper was 17 when he forced himself upon the 12-year-old in a field in Manchester when they met at a railway station.
Cooper, from Newton Heath, gave the youngster a love bite before using his earphones to tear a hole in the girl’s legging.
At Bolton Crown Court, Cooper, now 19, admitted rape. He claimed he thought the girl was “closer to 15” when he attacked her.
After the incident in December 2019, the girl fled in tears and he shouted: “Come back. Don’t tell anyone or I’ll get people to do stuff to you.”
The girl kept the incident a secret for six days until she broke down and told a pastoral care teacher.
In a statement to police, she admitted feeling nervous and uncomfortable around men after the assault.
She added: “I am paranoid and feel that people walking behind me are coming to get me.
William Cooper/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)
“My education has suffered and I stopped lessons in school because I don’t want to be around male teachers.
“I had meltdowns at school because I did not want to be around men and boys. Sometimes when I am out I have to return home as I relive the incident when I am in certain areas.”
The pair first met at Atherton railway station after exchanging messages of a friendly nature. During the liaison Cooper kissed the girl on the head before arranging another date four days later.
Prosecutor Adam Lodge said: “She met him again at the railway station and they walked to a field close to primary school. They talked about family and school and before asking her if she wanted to sit on top of him as the ground was wet.
“She with her back to him between his legs and they continued to talk about normal stuff like where she lived and she recalls saying she was 12. But the defendant gave her a love bite on her neck and as she told him to stop he took her phone away and forced himself on top of her. She asked him to get off but he said ‘no’ and she began to panic.
The attack lasted up to five minutes and she cried out in pain.
When arrested, Cooper gave no comment in interview. Traces of his DNA were found on the girl’s clothing.
In mitigation defence counsel James Heyworth said Cooper had endured an “adverse and traumatic” upbringing and was living in supported accommodation at the time of the incident.
“It is a sad case in many ways,” said Mr Heyworth. “It’s sad of course for the victim – but it’s also sad for the defendant who will now bear the consequences of what he has done.”
Cooper will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years and will have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Sentencing the judge Miss Recorder Sarah Johnston told him: “The girl has struggled to comprehend and cope with these events and understandably so.
“You did nothing to verify her age. You knew she was under the age of consent and on her account, it must have been clear to you how deeply uncomfortable she was with the events that were unfolding.
“Her 12-year-old mind did not want to have sex with you and neither did her 12-year-old body. Yet you carried on regardless to satisfy yourself and nothing else. You had no regard for her feelings whatsoever.”