October 2018

Children’s clown who used exotic pets to entice children to his home for sexual abuse is jailed

Charles Mason

A former clown and children’s entertainer was jailed for 16 years today for sexually abusing young boys.

Charles Mason, 65, who was known as Marmaduke the Clown, used magic tricks and his menagerie of exotic pets to attract the victims to his home in East Hertfordshire.

He plied them with cannabis, ginger wine and made them watch pornography before engaging in sex acts, St Albans crown court heard.

Mason appeared for sentence having been convicted of 16 counts of indecent assault on five victims between 1985 and 2002.

One boy had been systematically abused from the age of 11 to 16.

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Judge Marie Catterson told him: “You earned your living as a children’s entertainer and kept a menagerie of exotic animals.

“Youngsters were keen to visit you and you exploited that for your gratification.”

She said the abuse has had a “profound and incalculable effect” on the five victims.

They felt shame and a loss of confidence. One wrongly blamed himself, she said.

The judge said: “Each victim suffered through your exploitation of their youth and natural naivety. You were emotionally manipulative of all of them.

Mason had denied 18 counts of indecent assault, which took place when he lived in Turnford and Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire.

He was found not guilty of one count and the jury could not decide on the other.

Mason must register as a sex offender indefinitely and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for 20 years.