September 30th, 2016

Kingshurst paedophile jailed after traveling hundreds of miles to have sex with schoolgirl

Kingshurst paedophile jailed after traveling hundreds of miles to have sex with schoolgirl Kingshurst paedophile jailed after traveling hundreds of miles to have sex with schoolgirl
Mark Cope. (s)
Updated: 11:16 am, Jan 11, 2016

A KINGSHURST paedophile who travelled hundreds of miles to have sex with a schoolgirl after grooming her on social media has been jailed.

Mark Cope, of Shirrall Grove, was sentence to 13 years behind bars after being convicted of two counts of sexual activity with a child, two charges of causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and for taking a child without lawful authority.

The 27-year-old targeted the teenager from Teeside through social media by pretending to be someone closer to her own age before catching the bus to meet her after school and taking her to a hotel.

The girl’s family said: “Since the incident happened we have felt devastated, angry and upset – as parents you just want to protect your children and you presume you know everything that goes on.

“We try not to think about it too much as we end up in floods of tears.

“We are thankful it wasn’t any worse, but, we just wish it hadn’t happened at all.

“It’s deeply upsetting someone would purposely set out to do something like this to your child.”

They added any other parents concerned about their child’s activity online should be vigilant and should keep on asking them about who they were speaking to and remind them of the dangers of talking to strangers online.

Det Con John Dodsworth said: “Mark Cope is a dangerous predator who preyed on a vulnerable young girl through social media and encouraged her to meet him, under the guise of being someone close to her own age in order to initiate contact with her.

“It is chilling to think anyone would groom and take advantage of a young person, but it is especially concerning there are those who would go to these lengths to do so.

“Thankfully, this incident did not conclude in an even worse outcome.”

Det Con Dodsworth said there were a number of things parents could do to try and increase the safety of their children online and protect them from online predators.

This includes adjusting the settings on devices, including parental controls, discussing openly what was safe and appropriate to share and post online and explaining people may not be who they say they are.

He added: “I hope the sentence handed to Cope helps the victim and her family to move forward and I am pleased another dangerous man has been removed from the streets.”

Anyone who is concerned about online activity or anyone who is a victim of abuse should call police on 101 or contact Barnardos or Childline.

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