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Saturday, April 4, 1998 Published at 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK


Child killer agrees to tagging
image: [ Residents rallied against having Cooke's accomplice as a neighbour ]
Residents rallied against having Cooke's accomplice as a neighbour

Child killer Sidney Cooke has agreed to be electronically tagged on his release from prison.

The BBc's Alison Holt reports: "Important breakthrough" (0'49")
Cooke, 70, who has served nine years of a 16-year sentence for the manslaughter of teenage runaway Jason Swift, is due to be released on Monday.

He has also agreed to be supervised by probation officers who consider him to be "dangerous and predatory."

Without his consent they could not have been forced Cooke to have any treatment or supervision on his release because he was jailed before a change in the law in 1991.

[ image: Victim: Jason Swift]
Victim: Jason Swift
He was part of a paedophile gang which raped and strangled Jason.

Another member of the gang, Robert Oliver was hounded out of a number of towns after his release from jail last September.

Oliver spent four months in voluntary police custody before moving to Blenheim House medium secure unit in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Residents living near the unit have called on the Prime Minister to keep Cooke in jail.

[ image: Oliver: Hounded out of town]
Oliver: Hounded out of town
The White Ribbon Campaign Group for Justice for Children, set up by families around the unit, say "life must mean life" for such killers.

Campaign co-ordinator Roy Copeland said he was worried Cooke will try to meet Oliver at Blenheim House.

Oliver is under 24-hour police surveillance but is free to leave the unit whenever he wants to.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Sidney Cooke has agreed to be electronically tagged and has agreed to supervision by the probation service."

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