Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Paedophile Henry Clarke who never faced court case faces PPS review

By Cate McCurry

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is considering a review of the case of Henry Clarke, who has admitted abusing boys in care in Belfast during the 1960s and 1970s.

The abuse was highlighted on BBC Northern Ireland television this week after Clarke was tracked down to his home in Canada.

Read more: Kevin Magee on the trail of self-confessed Northern Ireland paedophile who was allowed to flee justice by RUC despite vile crimes

Clarke, a former church pastor, has never faced a court in relation to his self-confessed crimes.

The BBC revealed Clarke had confessed to the RUC in 1985 that he had abused children from three separate care homes.

Despite his confession, the RUC did not press charges against him.

The PPS yesterday told the BBC it was concerned police did not at the time forward evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The PPS has now written to the Chief Constable requesting the information given to police by Clarke in 1985 be handed over.

Jim Gamble, a former senior officer with the PSNI and now a leading child protection expert, said: "You had an admission, so you didn't have... to worry that the allegation was old, and the evidence may be stale. You had a contemporary admission.

"And given that, I don't understand why he wasn't prosecuted."

Clarke, who is now 75, said he had never abused any children since he emigrated to live in Canada.

He claimed his abusing stopped when he left Northern Ireland.

"I took the opportunity to start a new life and I went back to Bible college and did my training," he said.

"And from 1982 until now I've been a pastor."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph