101-year-old convicted of 21 child abuse charges

Brit confessed to most charges

A 101-year-old man, believed to be Britain’s oldest defendant, has been found guilty of a string of child sex offences.

Ralph Clarke, a retired lorry driver, was convicted of 21 charges today relating to two young girls in the 1970s and 1980s.

Clarke admitted nine charges relating to a young boy half way through his trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

He told Birmingham Crown Court that the offences against the schoolboy were “something that happened’ and said he was ‘immune to feelings’ following his arrest last year,” according to Metro newspaper.

The defendant had previously admitted two counts of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence, two of indecency with a child, and five indecent assaults on a male person.

Following the verdict, a court spokesman said: ‘Ralph Clarke manipulated vulnerable children to carry out a sickening campaign of abuse.

‘His claim that one of his victims “had every choice” and “could have said yes or no” is a shocking insight into his lack of understanding of the devastating impact abuse has on a child.

The verdict on Friday means Clarke has become Britain’s oldest convict, taking over 96-year-old convicted paedophile Gaston Pinsard.
Clarke is expected to be sentenced next week.