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Prolific paedophile paid to watch children being sexually abused online

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One of the first men in North Yorkshire to be convicted of downloading indecent images of children in 1999 has today been jailed for ten years for similar offences.

Jailed: Richard Clark watched online as children were abused

Lorry driver Richard Clark, of Whitby, sent money to the Philippines to watch live internet footage of children being sexually abused.

Many of the images were in the most serious category and showed children crying as they were exploited by adults.

He also contacted young girls from the UK on the internet and gave them money in exchange for indecent images of themselves.

The 58-year-old was charged with arranging the sexual exploitation of a child and making indecent images of children following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police.

A judge at York Crown Court today jailed Clark – who lived in Fishburn Road, Whitby but had been remanded in custody – giving him an extended sentence of ten years.

Clark was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order until further notice, to prevent him from reoffending on his release, and will have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.

In 1999, Clark was sentenced to nine months in prison for indecent image offences – one of the first people in the county to be successfully prosecuted for the crime.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Rachael Hughes, of Scarborough CID, said: “It’s unimaginable that someone could get enjoyment from watching children suffer in this way.

“Every time Clark made a payment to an abuser, he was directly funding child abuse and directly encouraging other paedophiles to carry out horrendous acts against vulnerable children.

“He did this from behind a computer screen where he believed he wouldn’t get caught. In some cases he did it from thousands of miles away.

“However, we investigate many different types of sexual abuse and we catch offenders. Communities in North Yorkshire and much further afield are safer when people like Clark are brought to justice and jailed.”

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, whether it is happening now or in the past, please tell the police. Even if it is not possible to put an offender before the courts, it’s important that you are offered the support and advice that is available. Your information could also help to protect other victims. All reports will be fully investigated.

  • To report a sexual crime to North Yorkshire Police, call 101
    • If you are in immediate danger, always call 999
    • If you prefer not to go direct to the police and you are not in immediate danger, you can contact a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) in your area. Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s SARC can be contacted on 01904 669339.
    • Childline 24-hour helpline 0800 1111
    • NSPCC’s online safety helpline on 0800 800 5002
    • If you are worried about a child, call the NSPCC’s helpline: 0800 800 5000
Last modified: June 17, 2019