June 2016

Man who sexually abused boy, 15, in 1990s jailed for four years

A man who sexually abused a 15-year-old schoolboy more than 20 years ago has been jailed for four years.

Paul Clarke, 45, admitted two counts of indecency with a child and two of indecent assault, between 1994 and 1995.

Leicester Crown Court was told there was an eight year age gap between the defendant and his victim.

Gregor Purcell, prosecuting, said the complainant reported the matter to the police, which involved sexual activity on two occasions, in April 2014.

He said: “It’s had an effect upon him.

“In a victim impact statement he says it caused him to lose trust in people and has affected his relationships.

“He bottled up his emotions and could not tell anyone for many years.”

The victim also stated: “I look back and realise the impact this has had upon me.

“I’d like him to hear my words and show Paul the effect his actions have had on my life.

“I received counselling five months after I reported it to the police and it’s the first time I’ve received help in making sense of what happened.”

The defendant’s partner went into the witness box to say he was suffering from depression and relied heavily upon Clarke for support and help.

He said: “He cares for me and gives me my medication.

“If Paul goes down today I fear I’ll go off the tracks again.”

Sentencing, Judge Robert Brown told Clarke: “You were in your early 20s when you committed these offences.

“The complainant is now 37 but he was 15 at the time.

“This was child abuse, let there be no misunderstanding about that in your mind.

“He was confused about his sexuality and that made him vulnerable and he was at a crucial stage in his life going through teenage years and in an examination year.

“Whilst I accept you didn’t rape him, what you did to him was a significant act of sexual abuse.

“You desisted after two occasions and it’s true that for 20 years since you’ve committed no offences of a sexual nature.

“You’ve moved on in your life and I suspect this is a distant memory for you – but this has seriously affected his life.

“Your late guilty plea, though, has spared him from giving evidence in the witness box.”

The judge said he was aware the defendant’s partner, who “has done nothing wrong” would “suffer his own pain” through the defendant’s incarceration.

Errol Ballentyne, mitigating, said: “He’s sorry for putting the complainant through what he did.

“He’s fully remorseful.

“He’s also taking medication for depression and is seeking to support his long-term partner who relies upon him.”

Clarke, of Wolsey Close, Fleckney, Leicestershire, was placed on an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and his address will be held on a sex offender register for life.