Wrexham wrestler Gary Cooke abused young boy whose only escape was into care system, court hears

A former wrestler and sex shop owner from Wrexham abused a young boy who went on to nearly kill himself when his life went off the rails, a court heard. Gary Cooke, now known as Mark Grainger, is alleged to have been part of a paedophile ring operating in the town in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A man now in his 40s told Mold Crown Court he had been lured as a 13-year-old into Cooke’s clutches by a so-called friend while out playing football. Cooke, 64, was said to have plied the youngster with drink once the friend left, before performing sex acts on him and warning him if he told anyone there would be “consequences”. The boy would be picked up in his home town of Buckley and then driven to Cooke’s home in Brymbo, where the abuse would take place, the alleged victim claimed. Cooke, of Galway Road, Leicester, faces 12 charges of indecent assault on a male, four charges of buggery, and two charges of indecency with a child. David Lightfoot, aged 72, a Wrexham publican in the 1980s from Parklands View, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, faces five charges of indecent assault on a male, one charge of indecency with a child and three charges of a serious sexual offence. Keith Stokes, aged 62,a former haulier and abattoir manager, from Quarry Hill in Farndon, Chester, faces four charges of indecent assault on a male, one serious sexual offence, one attempted serious sexual offence and one charge of indecency with a child. Former local radio presenter Roy Norry, aged 55, from Hamilton Road, Connah’s Quay, faces fix charges of indecent assault on a male, one charge of a serious sexual offence and one attempted serious sexual offence. George Neil Phoenix (63) of Windsor Road, New Broughton, Wrexham, faces one charge of indecent assault on a male. Civil servant Edward Julian Huxley, aged 70, from Lower Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire, who formerly worked at the army barracks in Wrexham, faces two charges of indecent assault on a male, as does retired teacher and former home owner Roger Owen Griffiths, 76, of Coed Efa Lane in New Broughton, Wrexham.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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