101-year-old man sentenced to 13 years for sex offences
A 101-year-old paedophile has been jailed for 13 years for committing a string of sex offences against young children in the 1970s and 1980s.
Retired haulier Ralph Clarke is believed to be the oldest person ever convicted by a jury in Britain.
He was convicted of 17 offences of indecent assault, 11 of indecency with a child and two attempted serious sexual assaults.
Clarke pleaded guilty to nine offences relating to a male victim part-way through a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Judge: “You have no remorse whatsoever”
Judge Richard Bond QC told the pensioner his offending against three vulnerable children, one as young as four, had been “repeated and sustained” over many years.
He also said the victims had been “powerless” to stop the former RAF serviceman, who would threaten and beat those who defied him.
“One of your victims remembers you as a nasty man, free with your fists, and he would get belted by you,” Mr Bond said.
You present as a fragile old man; however, what was plain to see was that, despite your guilty pleas, you have no remorse whatsoever.
– Judge Richard Bond QC
The judge also praised Clarke’s victims for coming forward and giving evidence at his trial.
As his sentence was passed down, the three victims broke down in tears and hugged.
Last week, one of them said Clarke “has damaged so many lives in such a massive way and he has no remorse.”
“He’s evil and he deserves to be in prison,” they added.
Another of the victims told the court: “I should hate him, but that hatred could have eaten away at me and destroyed me.”
Throughout the sentencing, the pensioner shook his head and said “No, no, no”.