Shropshire Star

Whitchurch paedophile exposed by vigilantes had 'filth' on devices and 'brought shame' on his family

A Shropshire paedophile who "looked at an awful lot of filth" was arrested after a vigilante group exposed his sex crimes.


Derek Cooper, now aged 52, had hundreds of videos of children being sexually abused on his mobile phone and tablet when police searched his home.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how a man called the police on May 2, 2020, stating he was with a "paedophile hunter" group, and that Cooper had arranged to meet two young girls from Rotherham later in the day. The "girls" he had been messaging were in fact decoys from the vigilante group.

Police officers arrived at Cooper's home and arrested him on suspicion of grooming a girl under the age of 16. They carried out a search of the property and seized the phone and tablet. They were examined and found to contain 460 videos and images, including 235 ofCategory A - which would depict some of the most depraved child sex abuse acts. There was also bestiality content on his devices as well as messages on the Kik app, a messaging service which has a 'flirt' function to encourage people to match, like on ordinary dating apps.

Marcus Kraehling-Smith, prosecuting, told the court that Cooper was part of a number of online groups relating to underage sex content and had distributed images of a 13-year-old.

When interviewed by police Cooper claimed he was "disgusted" by the images but accepted they were on his phone.

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