Brothers, 71 and 62, jailed for historic abuse

Brothers, 71 and 62, jailed for historic abuse

TWO brothers who preyed on young boys and girls have been locked up for a total of 21 years. 

Thomas Clarke, 71, and his younger brother Michael Clarke, 62, were convicted of 24 historic charges between them.

Leeds Crown Court was told that one of the girls involved was abused by both men.

Thomas Clarke, of Kings Court, Birstall, was jailed for 15 years after being found guilty on 10 counts of gross indecency and eight of indecent assault involving two girls and two boys. He has Parkinson’s disease and was taken from the courtroom in a wheelchair.

Michael Clarke, of Spring Grove Street, Springwood, Huddersfield, was jailed for six years after being convicted of six charges of indecent assault on one girl.

Sentencing Thomas Clarke, Judge Christopher Batty said that although he recognised his level of disability, he still had to be sentenced for his crimes.

He said: “I have to sentence you for sustained and repeated sexual offending.

“You are also a selfish and manipulative man. You preyed on any youngster when the opportunity arose.”

The judge said Clarke had satisfied his sexual needs “regardless of the effect on these innocent children you attacked”.

A statement by the victims said the crimes had seriously affected their personalities.

Judge Batty said that one of the girls was abused by another man before the offences committed by the Clarkes.

He described her as a “broken woman”.

Michael Clarke had also been sentenced in 2001 for indecent assault on two other girls and in 2004 for raping another girl.

Judge Batty said that he had taken his earlier time served in custody into account when sentencing.

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