Priest Paul Clarke admits possessing 3,100 indecent child images

A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to possessing more than 3,000 indecent images of children.

Paul Clarke, 71, from East Sussex, but now living in Manchester, was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Lewes Crown Court.

He admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, possession of prohibited images.

Clarke, of Redclyffe Road, Urmston, was put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

The court, where he was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order restricting his access to computers, was told he had a total of 3,100 indecent images.

Clarke, formerly of Watchbell Road, Rye in East Sussex, was charged after an investigation by the paedophile on-line investigation team of Sussex Police.

He was arrested after a search of his Rye address - the residential presbytery attached to St Anthony's Church - in November 2014, during which computers were seized.

"All the charges involved images taken from the internet," a police spokesman said.

"There is no evidence of contact offending and none of the images are of local children."

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