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BRyder's picture
Harry Cook - jailed


KARATE instructor Harry Cook was jailed for 10 years on Friday after admitting a string of sex offences against children dating as far back as the 1980s.

Harry Cook

Cook (62), formerly of Castle Hill Terrace, Haltwhistle, was a world renowned expert in martial arts.

He pleaded guilty to a total 49 charges, spanning four decades and involving five victims.

He was also found in possession of over 55,000 images of children and over 600 films.

At Newcastle Court, Judge Roger Thorn sentenced Cook to 10 years in prison. He will be on the sex offenders’ register and be barred from teaching children for life.

One of Cook’s victims described him as "the lowest form of predator" who abused his position of trust.

In a statement after the court hearing, the victim said: "After living with the immense horror for over 20 years, I feel some justification and I'm relieved that people can now see him for what he truly is.

"I feel total disgust and loathing towards him for all he has done, and he is now where he belongs."  

BRyder's picture

That posted before I got to add my thoughts...

I met Harry on a dozen or so occasions to learn from him and at conventions etc and was shocked to hear the news when it broke. The result is good, alhtough I think the jail term will not be well received.

I work with victims of sexual assault, often being the first person a victim or familiy will see from the authorities. We have a highly emmotional response to the conviction of sex offenders, particularly when the victims are children and this is completey understandable, and whilst I can emathise with demands for higher levels of punishment, I think that the key thing is that the victim gets all the support they need to get through what happened to them.cI won't disagree that a longer jail term might make people in general feel safer but even when Harry is released (and the time he serves will not be easy) he will be subjected to close scrutiny.

The reason I mention this is because (judging by some on-line comments at least) I think we should avoid focussing on him, have some admiration for the victims that came forward and demonstrated immense strength in giving evidence. I also think this case should be opennly discussed in our dojos...child protection is not just a document filed in a cabinet, it is our collective responsibility to ensure our students and customers know what we expect of them, what protocols are and how risk to the innocence of youth is minimised.