June 2017

Depraved paedophile from Barrow sentenced to 18 years in jail for sickening crimes

A PERVERT who meted out a seven-year campaign of physical and sexual abuse on two girls has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Darren Clarke, 38, did not have the courage to face sentence and remained in the cells while Judge James Adkin labelled him a dangerous offender and handed him an extended term of imprisonment.

Preston Crown Court heard Barrow man Clarke, now of Chatsworth Street, Carlisle, carried out “a litany of physical and sexual indignities” on the youngsters over a seven year period.

Judge Adkin said: “These girls were, in my judgement, treated by him as objects to manipulate for his amusement and they were used by him for his sexual gratification.

“He was convicted of using violence and humiliation by smearing excrement under their noses in a game called The Hitler Game.

“He made both girls watch pornography for his amusement and pleasure and in my view with the intention of grooming them for future sexual abuse.”

He broke wind in their faces and smeared excrement on their clothes, the court heard.

He formed a sexual obsession with the older girl, forbidding her from wearing makeup and banning her from having boyfriends in a bid to control her.

When he was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty, Clarke had two indecent images of the youngster – including one in which her face had been superimposed onto a picture of a pornographic model.

He has a previous conviction for possession of indecent images, the court heard.

The younger girl, who can not be named for legal reasons, was so distressed by Clarke’s treatment of her she dressed as a boy in a bid to evade his sexual attention.

Judge Adkin said: “She has lost her childhood. She has deep seated psychological problems. Little wonder.”

Judge Adkin handed down an extended prison sentence of 14 years with an extra four years on licence.

He said: “In my judgement, Darren Clarke is plainly a dangerous offender.”

Speaking after the hearing, the girl’s aunt said: “He got what he deserved. I couldn’t be happier with the sentence.

“It says everything that he wouldn’t come to court to face it.”

May 2017

Barrow man subjected two girls to harrowing catalogue of sexual abuse

A BARROW man who sexually abused two girls has been found guilty of child cruelty and sex offences.

Darren Clarke, 38, admitted he had been “stupid and daft” but denied any violent or sexual behaviour towards the girls during a trial at Preston Crown Court.

After hearing the harrowing accounts of the girls – who cannot be named for legal reasons – the jury unanimously found Clarke, of Chatsworth Street, Barrow, guilty of 18 counts of sexual assault, cruelty, and inciting the girls to engage in sexual activity.

The youngsters told the court Clarke forced them to watch pornography and exposed his genitals to them.

On several occasions he engaged in sexual activity with them, and would play cruel “pranks”.

When he learnt one of the girls had a boyfriend, he sexually assaulted her and warned her to stay away from him, the court heard.

One of the girls was pushed to the ground in a row over a mobile phone and the other was struck by a phone when Clarke threw it across the room in anger.

At the time of the offences, Clarke was drinking up to eight cans of lager a day, smoking cannabis and taking valium.

He told the court: “It may have added to some of my daft behaviour but [I was] never sexual or violent.”

During the trial, the court heard Clarke had previously received a caution for possession of indecent images and was put on the sex offenders register.

But when he was arrested at a house in Barrow in 2014, he was in breach of his notification requirements and had started staying overnight with a woman who had a child in the house.

Clarke claimed he did not know he was required to inform the police if he stayed at another address, but when his mobile phone was sent off for analysis, officers discovered indecent images of one of the children, which had been doctored from photographs on Facebook.

Following the verdicts, Judge James Adkin remanded Clarke in custody and ordered a pre-sentence report.

Clarke will remain in prison until he returns to court to be sentenced on June 16.