June 2016: NOW in a Cat D open prison and due to be released in July 2017

March 2014

A woman who sexually abused a young girl, burnt her with a light bulb and hit her fingers with a hammer is jailed for six years


A woman who sexually abused a young girl, and tortured her by burning her with a light bulb, forcing her to drink salt water and hitting her fingers with a hammer has been jailed.

The girl was just five-years-old when Marie Clarke’ campaign of abuse started, and was only able to escape the torment when she spoke out at 12.

The victim broke down in tears at Liverpool Crown Court, sobbing uncontrollably as a judge told her that Clarke had ‘robbed her of her childhood’ by her persistent abuse, and sentenced Clarke to six years and eight months in prison.

The court was told that the abuse was first reported to Merseyside Police and a doctor in 1985 but no action was taken until 2013 when the victim – Now an adult – went back to the police and re-reported it.

60-year-old Marie Clarke who lived in Bootle and who worked as a mortgage adviser in the Halifax Building Society in Liverpool had pleaded guilty to three specimen sexual assault offences and 16 offences of child cruelty between May 1978 and May 1985.

The court had earlier been told that the victim – who can not be named for legal reasons – had been subjected to repeated cruelty between the ages of five to 12, including being burnt by a hot light bulb.

She was forced to drink salt water as a form of chastisement and for Clarke’s enjoyment, had a bar of soap forced in her mouth and was beaten with a bath brush to enforce cleaning of the house.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, also told how Clarke banged the girl’s head so hard on the wall she vomited and she also struck her with a cast iron frying pan.

Clarke used a hammer on the victim’s fingers, held her head under bathwater so she feared drowning, smothered her with a pillow, bent her legs beneath her in a contorted position and then sat on them and struck her with a shoe and other objects

The sexual abuse included Clarke using tweezers to pluck out public hairs and making the girl suck her breasts

In a personal statement the victim revealed contemporaneous notes she had made of her suffering at the hands of the evil Clarke

The victim spoke out at 12-years-old after she again had her head banged against a wall and was punched.

Although the victim told the police. and Clarke had independently confided in her GP about her behaviour there was no formal follow up and it was not until last year that the victim told the police, having obtained her medical and social services records.

Sentencing Clarke, Judge Robert Warnock said about the victim ‘She clearly felt worthless, unwanted and not believed. If it is any comfort she is believed now.’

Clarke was told that she must register as a sex offender for the rest of her life