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Pervert ex-PSNI officer showed partner murder case files

Drew Cooper

AN ex-cop turned sex attacker showed his girlfriend crime scene images - including pictures of the Massereene Barracks murders.

Drew Cooper also shared sensitive details of murder cases he was involved in and even got her to pose in police handcuffs with his gun to her head.

The details were revealed by Paula Shannon as she spoke publicly after the disgraced officer was sentenced last week on sex offences.

"He was the exhibit officer during the Massereene Barracks shooting and I saw everything and read everything," said Paula.

"I saw the pictures and the 64 bullets that were fired, as he took all the pictures for it and he was able to tell me who were suspects."

Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar died in a hail of bullets from Real IRA gunmen as they took delivery of a pizza outside the Co Antrim Army base in March 2009.

Last week at Antrim Crown Court Cooper was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register. The 59-year-old had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of sexual assault in February and April 2016. He also admitted one count of recording a person doing a private act, between May 2015 and January 2016.

Cooper committed the offences while operating a massage business at his home, called KneadU.

Paula, a mother-of-four, said she was "disappointed" at the sentence and expected him to be immediately jailed for his crimes.

She explained to Sunday Life that during their relationship Cooper shared details of the killing of Michael McLaughlin, who was stabbed to death by his best friend Leon Johnston in Castledawson in 2010.

"I can remember sitting with Drew in my house and I read everything that was done about the case," she explained.

"It was very serious, to be honest with you, it was quite a lot to take on, I think it was a power thing."

The case was particularly gruesome as Johnston's sentencing hearing heard how blood was seen "gushing" from a stab wound to Mr McLaughlin's chest.

Paula also recalled how Cooper would leave his police handgun around the house and even showed her how to disassemble it.

"He showed me how to put it together again but he never used his safe and I even knew his safe number, because it was his police number," she said.

Cooper also once got her to pose for a video in which Paula wore his police handcuffs while he pointed his PSNI-issue weapon at her head.

"I was drunk but I can remember it being taken and the police have the video, but I have no idea what was done with it," she said.

The Ballymoney man also used the police computer to check up on people ringing Paula and on her ex-partner.

This would eventually cost Cooper his job, as when the relationship broke down following an accusation by Paula of assault, she also told officers about his misuse of the computer.

"He was checking the police computer for people who were ringing me and checking on my ex-partner, who I have two children with," she explained.

In 2014 Cooper admitted 12 counts of obtaining or disclosing personal data and was fined a total of £3,100. Cooper, who now works as a massage therapist, was back in court on February 11 this year to plead guilty to two counts of sexual assault against a woman in February and April 2016 and a further count of recording a second woman doing a private act without her consent on dates between May 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Paula also suffered due to Cooper, experiencing a mental breakdown after the couple split and even ended in up in a mental institution.

"I lost my home, I had to give my four kids up and I ended up sectioned in Holywell and that's how I was left," she said. "I was in there for nine months... he ruined my life and I'm registered disabled due to my mental health status.

"I have been diagnosed with unstable emotional personality disorder and I have been registered bipolar."

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Belfast Telegraph