March 2017

Child sex abuse images shame of Leicester children’s charity former boss

The former boss of a children’s charity, who downloaded child sexual abuse images and tried to persuade a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity, has avoided a jail sentence.

Richard Clark, who helped found and formerly ran Mighty Creatives, in Leicester, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and viewing 26 illegal images of youngsters.

Leicester Crown Court was told Clark made lewd suggestions when “talking dirty” on the internet with a person believed to have been a child – although the two never met.

Clark (46), formerly of Portland Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester, but now of London, was given a three-year community order, with a sex offender rehabilitation requirement, and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, enabling the authorities to monitor his future computer use.

Clark left Mighty Creatives in January last year, following his arrest.

James Varley, prosecuting, said four weeks of online chat with the boy in April and May 2012, via Skype, included “sexual fantasies”, with the defendant telling the boy do indecent things to himself.

Mr Varley said: “He knew it was dangerous and made it plain early on they would have to ‘be careful’.

“He was working for a children’s charity and it could cause the loss of his job.

“We know images were sent and received but we can’t say what, because they were deleted.”

He also sent the boy links to gay pornography sites.

Clark admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of youngsters, between March 2006 and October 2014 – relating to three images in the most serious range, category A, seven indecent images in category B and 16 in category C.

Clark joined Leicester City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board in 2014 and was also involved with the mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board.

 

March 2017

Child sex abuse images shame of Leicester children’s charity former boss

The former chief executive of a prominent children’s charity is facing jail for downloading images of child sexual abuse and trying to persuade a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity.

Richard Clark, who ran Leicester-based Mighty Creatives, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon to attempting to incite a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity between April 18, 2012 and May 11, 2012.

The 45-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At an earlier hearing, Clark also admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of youngsters, between March 2006 and October 2014.

As well as being a founder and former chief executive of Mighty Creatives, the respected young people’s advocate has been appointed to some key decision making boards in Leicester.

Recorder Stuart Sprawson warned Clark during yesterday’s hearing at Leicester Crown Court that he could go to jail.

Adjourning the case for sentencing, Recorder Sprawson said: “A prison sentence may well be imposed.

“I’m not holding out any promises – on the face of it the offences do cross the custody threshold.

“All sentencing options remain open.”

The court heard that Clark, of Portland Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester, made numerous lewd suggestions to the teenage boy when they communicated over the internet.

The child pornography charges relate to three indecent, still and moving, images in the most serious range, category A, seven indecent images in category B and 16 in category C.

According to its website, Mighty Creatives was created in 2009 to help children and young people fullfil and develop their creative potential.

The site states the organisation, located in Rutland Street, in the city’s Cultural Quarter, is “a charity that works with schools” along with “the cultural sector and businesses”.

Mighty Creatives, whose current chief executive is Nick Owen, said in a statement this morning that the charity took immediate action when the allegations against Clark emerged.

The statement read: “Mr Richard Clark was previously CEO of The Mighty Creatives from September 2008 to 31 January 2016. As soon as police alerted the organisation to the allegations against Mr Clark, immediate and appropriate action was taken, which led to his subsequent resignation.

On his LinkedIn page, Clark states: “The Mighty Creatives is the children and young people’s creative development agency.

“The charity’s distinctive name was chosen by children and young people as a name for everyone – young and old – who uses their creativity to build a better world.

Clark was released on bail and will be sentenced next month.

 

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