BIRMINGHAM – A 101-year-old pedophile, convicted of 21 historical sexual offences against children, has become the oldest criminal to be jailed in British legal history.
Ralph Clarke, who sexually abused children as young as four in his garden shed, is almost certain to die behind bars after a judge handed him a 13-year term for child sex attacks over a course of nearly a decade.
The former lorry driver committed a catalogue of vile assaults against a boy and two young girls between 1974 and 1983. The attacks took place in the pensioner’s ‘man cave’ workshop and in the cab of his truck.
“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 told the pensioner, who sat back in his chair and leaned on his white walking stick as he listened, during a trial on Monday.
His victims finally contacted police in August last year having seen Facebook posts celebrating Clarke’s 100th birthday.
As Clarke was spending his first hours in custody following his convictions, all three of his victims, now aged in their 40s and 50s, expressed relief that he had finally been brought to justice, the Mail Online reported.
The verdict means he has become the oldest convict in Britain, replacing 96-year-old paedophile Gaston Pinsard.
Pinsard, from Guernsey, was jailed for 18 months for the sexual abuse of two young girls more than 50 years ago.
Clarke, who walks with the aid of a white stick, was given special permission to sit outside the dock at the back of the court during the trial.
Clarke was arrested after his two of victims walked into a police station in August last year to make a complaint against him.
He was found guilty of 12 charges of indecent assault and nine counts of indecency with a child.