A WHITCHURCH man who admitted possessing hundreds of category A indecent images of children has been spared jail.

Derek Cooper, 52 and formerly of Chemistry, was sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court – sitting at Telford Magistrates Court – on Monday, August 7.

He was given 35 rehabilitation activity days by Recorder Jason MacAdam as well as 100 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Marcus Kraehling-Smith told the court that the defendant had been caught by a paedophile hunter after he talked to two teenage girls, who turned out to be decoys.

Police were informed that Cooper intended to travel to Rotherham to meet the ‘teens’ and when he was arrested, a Samsung mobile device and a Google Chromebook were seized, with indecent images of children and also bestiality.

It was found that between November 2019 and May 2020, Cooper had made 235 category A images, of which 233 were moving, as well as while he also had 97 category B images and 128 category C images.

The chat history with the decoys was also found.

In interview, according to Mr Kraehling-Smith, Cooper told officers that he had clicked a pop-up chat on Facebook chat which he thought was an open room and images were available.


But he also joined a group via a messaging app that swapped pictures that Cooper reportedly told police that he found disgusting, but never deleted.

In a third interview, the defendant told police via a prepared statement that he never intended to meet the ‘teens’ as he had made plans for that day with his then partner and friends.

In mitigation, Cooper’s defence highlighted probation’s view that he had been ‘foolish’ but was unlikely to reoffend and showed genuine remorse.

Recorder MacAdam said: “I have to sentence you for extreme porn and making category A images.

“Of these, 233 of these were moving and more – you distributed two class c images.

“Your pre-sentence report showed a degree of minimisation – you were clearly looking for underage pornographic material and you are demonstrably sexually attracted to children, borne out by your searches online.

“You are concluded to be a working man in the family business – people speak highly of you and the references for you are shocked about this.

“I’ve read your letter and that persuades me the best course of action is to minimise this and pass a non-custodial sentence for you to access the resources to help you.”

He was also ordered to pay £360 in costs and sign the sex offenders register for five years.