Market Rasen

Sex offender jailed for 15 years for crimes against girl under 13

A 33-year-old man from Faldingworth near Market Rasen has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for a string of sexual offences against a girl under the age of 13.

Matthew Derek Clarke pleaded guilty to a number of offences and was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday, June 22.

Clarke targeted his victim, described in court as “extremely vulnerable”, and he committed a string of serious sexual offences against her over an eight year period.

James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Clarke groomed his victim before moving on to sexually abuse her.

The offences came to light when his victim was spoken to by police in connection with a separate incident.

The girl was interviewed as a witness in that matter and went on to reveal the horrific abuse she had suffered at the hands of Clarke.

Later when Clarke’s mobile phone was examined police found over 1,100 child porn images.

Clarke, 33, of no fixed address but formerly of Stocks Lane, Faldingworth, admitted a total of 28 charges including rape of a child under the age of 13, assault by penetration of a child under 13, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault, taking indecent photographs of a child and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order designed to restrict his behaviour on his release from custody.

Judge John PIni QC, passing sentence, told Clarke: “You have pleaded guilty to extremely serious and repeated sexual offending. From a young age you groomed your victim and used her as a sex toy. She was extremely vulnerable.”

James Gray, in mitigation, said Clarke has been undergoing treatment since being remanded into custody following his arrest.

Mr Gray said: “He has demonstrated a significant degree of insight into his offences.”

Detective Sergeant Gail Hurley, of Lincoln Public Protection Unit at Lincolnshire Police, paid tribute to staff for their investigation into the case.

She said: “The sentencing today means that a dangerous and predatory sex offender will be imprisoned for a significant time.

“It’s a message to any perpetrator that we will do all we can to bring cases to court and put an end to such vile and depraved offending.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victim whose bravery throughout this process has been invaluable.”