Monday, 19 December 2016


Three victims break down in court as the widower is sentenced for a string of attacks against children as young as four.


Ralph Clarke's victim said he hope his attacker died in jail
Image Caption:Retired haulier Clarke told jurors he would be visited by 'a pile of kids'
A 101-year-old man thought to be the oldest person convicted by a British jury has been jailed for child sex offences.
Ralph Clarke is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to 13 years.
The former lorry driver abused three children in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of his victims was as young as four. 
Clarke, from Erdington in Birmingham, was convicted of 21 offences of indecency with a child and indecent assault committed against two young girls.
During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, he admitted nine charges relating to a young boy after describing the offences as "something that happened" in his past.
After his conviction he showed no emotion as Justice Richard Bond told him it would be "amazing" if he lived long enough to be released. 

Clarke committed the offences in the 1970s and 1980s
Image Caption:One of Clarke's victims said he hoped his attacker died in jail
On Monday, he added that he had considered Clarke's "age and infirmity" but the abuse was "so severe" only a lengthy jail term could be imposed.
Clarke has respiratory issues, diabetes and significant limitations of his hearing, sight and mobility.
Clarke, who turns 102 in March, remained impassive throughout much of the trial, telling the court: "I take life as it comes.
"I had always got a pile of kids around the garage because I used to repair all the bikes for them. They'd come from all over."
Sentencing Clarke, Mr Bond said his offending had been "repeated and sustained" over many years.
Children had been "powerless" to defend themselves, the judge added, and some were given "bribes" of money to buy sweets.
"One of your victims remembers you as a nasty man, free with your fists, and he would get belted by you," Mr Bond said.
Clarke shook his head throughout the sentencing hearing, saying: "No, no, no."
The widower's three victims broke down in tears and hugged in court after hearing him sentenced.