Paedophile child killer Sidney Cooke FAILS in latest bid for release

Paedophile child murderer Sidney Cooke fails in his TENTH bid for freedom as parole board tells him he is STILL a risk to society aged 94

  • Sidney Cooke, 94, was jailed in 1999 after admitting the abuse of two brothers
  • Cooke, known as ‘Hissing Sid’ was the leader of a large gang of paedophiles 
  • He was ordered to serve a minimum of five years before being eligible for release
  • Since becoming eligible for parole in 2004, he has now been rejected ten times 

Child killer Sidney Cooke (pictured), 94, is one of the oldest prisoners to come before the Parole Board in recent years. His latest request for release was rejected on Thursday

One of Britain’s most notorious paedophiles has failed in a bid to be freed from jail for the tenth time after the parole board said he is still a risk to society.

Child killer Sidney Cooke, 94, is one of the oldest prisoners to come before the Parole Board in recent years.

His latest request for release – his tenth such request in total since becoming eligible for parole in 2004 – was rejected on Thursday.

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.

Prior to that he had served nine years for the 1984 killing of 14-year-old Jason Swift.

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.

Nicknamed ‘Hissing Sid’, Cooke was one of a 1980s gang known as a ‘Dirty Dozen’ 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.

Cooke 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 has been held in HMP Wakefield since 1999 after he was jailed for life for sexually abusing two brothers. He was ordered to serve a minimum of five years before being eligible for release. However, the Parole Board has rejected his application on ten occasions

The Parole Board said: ‘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’.

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

He will be eligible for another parole review in about two years’ time.  

Cooke was released from jail in April 1999, after serving nine years for the manslaughter of 14-year-old rent boy Jason Swift in 1985.

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.

In 1985 a group led by Cooke paid £5 to gang-rape 14-year-old Jason Swift (pictured).  After his body was found in a shallow grave Cooke was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his manslaughter

Within months Cooke was accused of abusing two teenage brothers 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.

Cooke was convicted for Jason Swift’s murder alongside Dirty Dozen members Leslie Bailey, 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.

Bailey 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.

Cooke is still in jail. 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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