Southend: Man sentenced to 27 years for historic child sex abuse
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A jury have found a man guilty of non-recent sexual offences today, Friday 21 July, thanks to the case put forward by specialist detectives on behalf of the victims.
The victims described sustained abuse taking place from the early 2000s for more than 10 years.
They came forward to report his crimes as adults but were children and teenagers when the offences took place.
Andrew Cocks, 54, of Oakleigh Avenue, Southend, appeared at Basildon Crown Court, charged with 25 counts of sexual offences against children. Out of these, 11 counts were of rape.
During our investigation, which began in 2018 when the offences were reported to Essex Police, Cocks proclaimed his innocence, stating that he had significant mobility issues.
At trial, evidence was produced that falsified his claims.
A jury unanimously found him guilty of 13 charges and he was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Detective Sergeant Pitchford, of our Child Abuse Investigation Teams (CAIT), has been leading the investigation. The team specialise in investigating reports of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of children.
DS Pitchford said:
“Abuse of any kind should never happen but when it does, we’re here to make sure that the perpetrator answers for his crimes. “Cocks knew that the children trusted and relied on him, and he made them believe it was a choice. “He would even buy them toys and take them away if they refused his abuse. “Grooming and abuse is categorically never a choice by a victim. If you’ve been made to feel that way, please contact us or reach out to someone for support. “You will be taken seriously and you will be believed.”
Tenacious specialist teams dedicated to tackling serious sexual offending across Essex have seen the force ranked the best in the country at bringing predators to justice.
Essex Police is ranked 1st out of 43 forces across the UK for its sexual offences conviction rate, spanning the 12 months until May 2023.
Across the county, an unmatched 91.3% of sexual offence cases ended with a successful conviction, compared against the 84.5% average nationally.
Our officers solved 576 sexual offences across this period – an increase of 130 on the year before – solving 96 cases involving rape, an increase of 30 year-on-year.
Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex. The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:
CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who cover mid and north Essex
SERICC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service) who cover South and West Essex
SOS Rape Crisis who cover Southend, Castle Point and Rochford
Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.
For more information about how to get support, visit their website: Sexual violence support and advice Essex (synergyessex.org.uk).