Devon

Ex-Royal Navy chief petty officer Geoffrey Rooney jailed for child abuse

Geoffrey Rooney. Pic Devon and Cornwall Police Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Plymouth Crown Court heard Rooney joked online about being a paedophile

A former Royal Navy sailor has been jailed for 14 years for a series of horrific child sex offences including the rape of a six-month-old baby.

Geoffrey Rooney, 39, of Plymouth, Devon, sent pictures of his abuse to other paedophiles via his mobile phone, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

The ex-chief petty officer would also joke online about being a paedophile.

He had admitted offences including rape of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.

The court heard Rooney posted a running commentary via social media to other paedophiles of his abuse of one child.

Other offences admitted:

  • Possessing indecent photographs of children
  • Three counts of taking indecent photographs of children
  • Two counts of distributing indecent images of children.

Police were alerted on 9 January 2014 after the wife of another man found indecent images on her husband's phone.

Officers tracked the source of the photographs to Rooney.

Photos found on his mobile phone included more than 150 photos and videos of the most serious category.

Some images were taken as Rooney sexually abused the victims.

The offences happened between December 2013 and January 2014 when Rooney was serving in the Royal Navy.

'Casual depravity'

The family of two victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said after the case: "He has taken our children's innocence and given us a life sentence.

"The emotional impact has been huge, we are all taking each day as it comes."

The family said in the statement the "lack of remorse" shown by Rooney had made it "very difficult to come to terms with his crimes and move forward as a family".

"We believe Geoffrey's sexual preference for children can never be cured completely," the statement read.

"He is very manipulative and has violated positions of trust to the extreme."

Judge Paul Darlow said the offences were "utterly incomprehensible".

He said Rooney's actions had "demonstrated all the casual, callous depravity of a predatory paedophile".

Det Con Pete Shotton, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said Rooney had "glorified" in his abuse.

"He is a danger to children and he will always be a danger to children," he said.

"He is manipulative and used his skills to groom children."

The Royal Navy refused to comment.

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