Man jailed for historic assault, rape and kidnap: Warning - this story contains distressing detail

Martin Cooper was jailed for historic rape, assault and kidnap charges

Martin Cooper was jailed for historic rape, assault and kidnap charges - Credit: Archant

A man who was convicted of the murder of a Sawtry schoolgirl has today been jailed for “horrific” crimes which took place in the 1980s.

Martin Cooper, 61, admitted charges of rape, false imprisonment and assault and was jailed for seven years when he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court.

The case involved an incident that took place in March, 1987, but thanks to painstaking work by Cambridgeshire police, detectives were able to bring a prosecution more than three decades later.

Cooper convinced his victim to get into his car before locking the doors and driving her to a wooded area near Leighton Bromswold, near Huntingdon.

Cooper, who was known as Colin Hill at the time, ignored pleas from the victim to turn the car around towards the arranged location, and instead began to kiss and grope her without consent.

After making several threats of violence, Cooper raped her.

Afterwards he grabbed the victim and told her he would, “keep her for a few days”, and, “he didn’t know what he was going to do with her.”

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In a bid to escape, the victim told Cooper she needed to use the toilet and he stopped the car at a nearby pub.

She ran through the pub and hid under the landlord’s car until Cooper eventually left. The landlord found her under the car and arranged for her to be collected by her family.

Several weeks after the incident, Cooper raped and murdered Leanne Scott, a schoolgirl from Sawtry, and was initially jailed for 18 years. After the murder, the victim spoke to officers and informed them of the rape.

Cooper, of Russell Street, Luton, was released in 2018, but jailed again shortly afterwards due to concerns about his behaviour and licence breaches.

DC Elaine Penniket said: “I would like to applaud the phenomenal bravery shown by the survivor in this case, who has had to live with the devastating impact of Cooper’s horrific actions.

“This case highlights the significance of reporting serious sexual offences to police. Tackling rape is a force priority and if you or someone you loved has suffered at the hands of a rapist, I would urge you to come forward to report it to police.”

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Clare’s Law and Sarah’s Law.

More information on sexual offences and the Sex Offe