A RENOWNED martial arts expert from Northumberland will be spending a significant period of time behind bars after admitting sexually abusing young pupils.
Henry Cook, known as Harry, was a hugely respected karate instructor who taught hundreds of children and even wrote books on the sport.
Now he has admitted sexually assaulting five of his young female pupils in a shocking breach of trust. The married father, from Haltwhistle, Northumberland, was also found to have one of the largest child pornography archives ever seized in the North East, with more than 55,000 sick images – including some of the girls he molested.
The 62-year-old, a seventh dan master, has been remanded in custody and is facing a substantial prison term when he is sentenced in March.
He had already admitted 14 charges of indecently assaulting two girls, one in the 1980s and the other more recently, at a previous hearing.
He was brought back to Newcastle Crown Court yesterday to face a further 29 offences and admitted all of them.
The latest charges to which he confessed included 15 indecent or sexual assaults on three girls over an eight-year period.
Cook further admitted 13 counts of making and possessing indecent photographs of children and one of possessing extreme pornography involving animals. He had a total of 55,585 child pornography images. Prosecutor Amanda Rippon told the court: “Some of the images are of the victims of the indecent assaults.”
Cook, formerly of Castle Hill Terrace, Haltwhistle, who has been remanded in custody since early last year, will be brought back to be sentenced on March 5.
Jamie Adams, defending, said: “The court maybe assisted by a psychiatric assessment of the defendant.”
Cook is a well known figure in the martial arts world and although he taught mainly in Hexham and Haltwhistle, he gave lessons all over the world. He founded his own school, the Seijinkai Karatedo Association, to teach his blend of Shotokan and Goju-ryu karate styles. The association now has branches in Ireland, Norway, and the United States of America, as well as the UK.
News of his offending has shocked those who knew him in the karate world.
Cook, originally from South Shields, South Tyneside, is a seventh dan master of two forms of karate, studied at Durham University and after training as a school teacher, devoted his life to the martial art.
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