A 101-year-old paedophile will today (Mon) become the oldest person ever to be jailed in Britain after he was convicted of a string of child sex crimes.
Ralph Clarke – who was born in March 1915 – was warned he will be almost certainly die behind bars when he is sentenced this morning.
On Friday he was remanded in custody after a jury at Birmingham Crown Court found him guilty of 21 offences against two girls in the 1970s and 80s.
Clarke, who served in the RAF during World War Two and was later a lorry driver, admitted nine sex offences against a boy, who was aged just nine.
During the two-week trial, Clarke, of Erdington, Birmingham, was given permission to sit outside the dock at the back of the court.
He listened to proceedings through his hearing aid and had an intermediary sitting next to him for support and court hours were shortened to allow him to leave early.
But Judge Richard Bond said Clarke would almost certainly die in prison, after warning him he would be jailed for at least ten years.
He said: “I will have to discount (the sentence) for the offender’s extreme age.
“Although there is of course the argument that he has been able to live in the community for decades now when in fact he should have served a custodial sentence for this offending all those years ago.
“The reality is he is so old it will be amazing if he is released back in to the community.
“Because I have to say the sentence I am looking at at the moment is in double figures even with a discount for his age.
“The public would be horrified if I didn’t send him to prison.”
The court heard Clarke indecently assaulted the three victims in his lorry cab and his “man cave” shed between 1974 and 1983.
Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC told the jury he also abused the children, who are siblings, in the bath and in a bed.
He bribed the young girls with sweets and money and would even take his false teeth out before committing sex acts on the boy.
Clarke was arrested after his two female victims walked into a police station in August last year to make a complaint against the centurion.
Miss Moore told the jury they were “tipped over the edge” when he turned 100 in March 2015 and “everybody was saying what a good life he had led”.
Clarke will be sentenced at 10.30am today (Mon).
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