TWO people from East Lancashire have confessed to plotting to carry out an attack on a suspected paedophile in Burnley.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is said to have confessed to having indecent thoughts regarding a young girl.


He then suffered a serious assault as a consequence.

Sophie Louise Cooke, 21, of Hawarden Street, Nelson, was originally charged with encouraging the commission of a scheduled offence, namely sexual assault, by sending a text to the victim, luring him to an address, to which she had pleaded not guilty.

But prosecutor Emma Kehoe was given permission at Burnley Crown Court to add an offence of conspiracy to commit assault, between March 5 and March 8 this year, to the indictment, which Cook admitted.

Her co-defendant Stephen Daniel Holmes, 23 of no fixed address, appeared before the court via a video link to Forest Bank Prison, near Salford.

Holmes, who was represented in court by defence counsel Simon Gurney, also admitted the conspiracy to assault charge and the theft of a mobile phone from the same victim.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault on the same man, and an offence of assault by penetration, said to have been carried out on March 7.

The prosecution said that the pleas tendered by the defendants were acceptable, in the circumstances, and the denied charges would not be pursued to trial.

It has been previously confirmed by Lancashire Police that the victim was assaulted by having a mobile phone forcibly inserted into his bottom.

Cooke, represented in court by defence counsel Philip Holden, was bailed and Holmes was remanded in custody, for pre-sentence reports to be prepared, before the next hearing.

Adjourning the case, Judge Simon Newell said: “You have to be aware that this is a serious matter and all options will be open to the court, on the next occasion, including custody.”

The court heard that the alleged assault conspiracy involves at least a third man, who has not been formally identified or prosecuted at this time.