Birmingham & Black Country

101-year-old Ralph Clarke admits indecently assaulting young boy

Ralph Clarke Image copyright PA
Image caption Ralph Clarke, 101, said he used to repair children's bikes in his garage

A 101-year-old accused of a series of child sex offences has admitted carrying out five indecent assaults on a young boy in the 1970s.

Ralph Clarke told Birmingham Crown Court the offences against the boy were "something that happened".

The retired haulier, of Erdington, Birmingham, has previously admitted nine sexual assault related charges.

He denies 22 other counts of indecent assault and indecency relating to two other complainants in the case.

Mr Clarke is thought to be the oldest defendant in British legal history.

He told the court he was "pretty well immune" to feelings when asked to describe how he felt when he heard about the charges.

"I just take everything in life as granted. I just asked the detective constable that came to my house who it was that had laid charges against me," he said.

Makeshift workshop

In connection to the charges he denies, Mr Clarke was asked about a makeshift workshop and argued there was no room in it for anything to have happened between him and the girls he is accused of attacking.

He told the jury: "What room was in there, I needed.

"I had always got a pile of kids around the garage because I used to repair all the bikes for them. They'd come from all over.

"All the children used to know me as 'Nobby'."

'Described as a monster'

Mr Clarke denied he had thought he had "got away with it after all these years" and said he had done nothing to prompt one of his alleged victims to describe him as a "monster".

Mr Clarke, of Holly Lane, who was allowed to sit while giving evidence, pleaded guilty last week to:

  • Two counts of attempting to commit and serious sexual offence
  • Two of indecency with a child
  • Five indecent assaults on a male person

The trial continues.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites