By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
SERIAL groper Sidney Cooper was sentenced to six years in prison yesterday for grabbing a teenage girl's buttocks and shoving her to the ground when she tried to retaliate.
Magistrate Samuel McKinney sentenced the 43-year-old to six years for groping and causing harm to the 18-year-old moments after her mother stopped to drop her off at work on June 12.
"Six years?!" Cooper exclaimed in response. The magistrate had previously indicated that his sentence would be doubled since it was his third conviction for the same offence in as many years.
Magistrate McKinney also ordered that Cooper receive psychiatric intervention while serving his prison sentence because he seemingly "cannot control assaulting females in the public".
To that, Cooper said: "Man, your worship, they don't like me in the prison so I ain't ga get no help. You saying that, they ain't ga see me (sic)."
Cooper has claimed his victim flaunted her buttocks at him, which he suggested provoked him as he had just come out of prison and hadn't seen a woman for some time prior to the incident.
"I feel like it's some kind of plot against me," he said. "I feel like someone set that woman up and line that woman up to do what she do. Because she wasn't fixing her skirt, your worship. She had her whole skirt lift up in the road. And I just come out of jail."
Yesterday marked the third time Cooper has been convicted of the same offence, according to the magistrate. He recently finished serving at 18-month sentence for groping a female officer on March 29, 2016.
Then, on August 9, while the present matter was still underway, and in open court, he groped another female officer as she walked past him.
During trial, Cooper was notably vulgar. He lewdly taunted the victim, her mother and a female officer as evidence was being led about how he groped the girl and ran away laughing while her mother gave chase.
When the victim's mother took the stand, Cooper called her a "big (expletive)" and likened her to a snake. When she completed her evidence and was walking out of court, he shouted: "That's a fat * though."
When the female officer who arrested him took the stand, and reluctantly recounted how he told her how "sweet" she looked, the man shouted out: "All the time, all day!"
And when that officer left the court, Cooper told her: "Don't worry, you next though. I been watching you a little while now. You next. Yeah, baby."
The victim's mother said on the date in question, she was on Victoria Avenue headed on to Shirley Street, and in the process of dropping her daughter off for work. She said when she pulled the car to a stop, her daughter got out and proceeded to fix her clothes. Meanwhile, the mother said she looked down for a "split second" for her daughter's bag on the floor of the passenger's side.
The mother said as she did so, she noticed Cooper on the opposite side of the road coming towards her daughter, whose back was to him; she was facing the car as she fixed her clothes. The mother said when the man reached where they were, he took his took his two hands and grabbed her daughter's buttocks.
The mother said her daughter spun around and tried to lunge at her assailant in a bid to hold him, but Cooper in turn pushed her, causing her to fall to the ground. The mother said Cooper subsequently walked away briskly from them. She said she then put the car in park, got out and started to go after him whilst yelling: "You touched my daughter!"
She said upon seeing her coming after him, the man's brisk pace turned into a run, and he fled towards Bay Street from Victoria Avenue. She said while she chased him, Cooper kept looking back and laughing at her.
The mother said she continued to give chase, and before long Cooper jumped a wall in the area. She said because of what she was wearing, she was unable to jump the wall, so she decided to go around it.
The mother said while she pursued her daughter's assailant, she continuously yelled: "You groped my daughter, you touched my daughter!" She said her ranting caught the attention of various people in the area, who in turn joined her in chasing Cooper.
The group subsequently chased the 43-year-old east on Bay Street. She said the chase ultimately came to a stop at a tree opposite the Rum Cake Factory, which the man had scrambled into to evade capture.
Once she had caught up with the group, the mother said she observed a number of spectators recording the incident. She said she then told them to call the police. About 10 minutes later, the police arrived.
Constable Sharain Brown testified that at around 8am on the date in question, she got a call from the Tourism Police Station about a disturbance near the Rum Cake Factory. As a result, she said she and another officer went to that location.
She said when she got there, she observed a few people standing around on the side of the road, and others who were gathered around a tree. She said some of the bystanders pointed out a man in the tree, and told her how he had groped a woman a few blocks back.
P/C Brown identified Cooper as the man she saw in the tree. She said she and her colleague ordered the man to come down, which she said took a few minutes. When he came down, P/C Brown said he was handcuffed for safety.
A few minutes later, P/C Brown said a lady approached her and told her partner that the man she handcuffed moments prior assaulted her. P/C Brown said she noticed that the woman making the complaint had swelling and blood to the right side of her face.
As a result, P/C Brown said she cautioned and arrested Cooper in reference to causing harm and indecent assault.
The prosecutor, Inspector Philip Davis, questioned P/C Brown if Cooper said anything when she cautioned him. However, P/C Brown appeared hesitant to answer the question.
Upon being prodded by the prosecutor, P/C Brown revealed Cooper told her "Officer, you look sweet" at which point in court he shouted: "All the time, all day!"