Former Royal Navy sailor jailed for 14 years for string of 'depraved' sexual attacks on children

Judge told Geoffrey Rooney, 39, his actions 'demonstrate all the casual depravity of a predatory paedophile'

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The Independent Online

A former Royal Navy soldier has been jailed for 14 years after admitting a string of horrific sexual offences against young children, culminating in the rape of a six-month-old baby.

Geoffrey Rooney, 39, of Plymouth, Devon, made no response at Plymouth Crown Court as Judge Paul Darlow said the former Chief Petty Officer’s actions “demonstrate all the casual depravity of a predatory paedophile”.

The court heard how Rooney would joke online about his activities, sending images of children he abused to other paedophiles, as well as a running commentary via social media.

Last May the former Navy sailor pleaded guilty to raping a girl aged under 13, sexually assaulting another girl aged under 13, taking indecent photos of children, making indecent photos of children, distributing indecent photos of children with other suspected paedophile, sexually assaulting a boy aged under 16 and possessing indecent images of children.

Officers were alerted in 9 January after the wife of another man found indecent images on his phone. The photographs were later traced to Rooney.

Police found more than 150 photos and videos in the most extreme category, A, in his possession.

Rooney assaulted victims between December 2013 and January 2014, while he served with the Royal Navy.

In court, the father of two victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – described the effect of Rooney’s actions on his previously happy family.

Fighting back tears, the father told the court how the call from police: “changed my life and that of my family forever.”

He described how he had to hold down his children as they were subjected to a battery of tests to ensure neither had contracted sexually transmitted diseases.

The father is now unable to return to fulltime work and suffers from horrendous flashbacks from the trauma of identifying his own children in horrific photographs taken of them.

He said Rooney’s “sick perversion” was “completely incomprehensible”, especially how he “gloated his with others” as he abused children.

“What this man has done to me, my family, other families, is nothing short of horrific,” he said in court.

Outside court, the father read a statement in which he thanked the woman who had originally contacted police over the images found on her partner’s phone.

“We would never have known,” he said. “Paedophiles don’t have a flashing sign around their necks.

“Rooney appeared to be a normal, middle-aged man, with a good career in the Royal Navy, a mortgage and a long-term relationship.”

Rooney has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the rape, with other sentences running concurrently. He is the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, barring him from working with children or vulnerable adults, subject of a restraining order and sig on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.