A 101 year old has become the oldest person ever to go on trial in Britain. The man is facing charges of child sex offences, which are alleged to have taken place in a workshop and the cab of a delivery lorry.
Ralph Clarke is facing charges that he sexually abused two girls and a boy, included a seven year told. The offences are said to have taken place in a nine year period from 1974. The lorry driver was seen arriving in court leaning on a walking stick as the prosecution opened the case against him at Birmingham Crown Court.
Clarke, who lives in Erdinton, Birmingham is denying all charges against him. He is accused of 17 counts of indecend assault, 12 of indecency with a child and two attempted sexual offences.
The trial is expected to last two weeks. So far, the prosecution has set out its case, telling jurors that two of Clarke’s alleged victims had reported the allegations last year. Some of the abuse is alleged to have taken place in Clarke’s former home. All three victims say they were abused in a garden shed or a workshop.
Mr fix it
The court heard that people from across the local area would take things which needed fixing to Clarke for him to repair as he was known as something of a Mr Fix It. The prosecutor said that the accused had admitted some of what is alleged to have happened.
The prosecutor said: “The defendant was interviewed by the police in this case. He agreed some of the things you are going to hear about did in fact happen. His first words were “Who has complained?”.
Prosecutors say that age should be no barrier to being brought to justice. The jury was told that Clarke would be assisted by an intermediary during the hearing to help him to follow proceedings as he is hard of hearing.