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Penrith teen locked up for child sex crimes and attempted intercourse with dog

Joshua Clarke

[A] TEENAGER has been locked up for online child sex offending – and trying to have intercourse with a dog.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how 18-year-old Joshua Clarke was involved in “graphic sexualised exchanges” over the internet with two USA-based girls aged 13 and 14.

Clarke’s offending emerged after police visited his Penrith home and seized electronic devices. Forensic analysis revealed criminal conversations with the girls – and a host of other offending.

Clarke later admitted two charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity; two of causing a child to watch a sexual act; possessing an extreme pornographic image; distributing indecent images of children; and attempting to have intercourse with a dog.

He also pleaded guilty to making scores of indecent still and moving images of youngsters. Some were classed in category A, the most serious, and featured children aged just three.

The court heard the offences were committed during a three-year period while he was aged under 18, as he sought “solace” in the online community having been a victim of “sustained bullying at school”.

A young man of previous good character, Clarke, of Macadam Way, Penrith, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for two years. Judge James Adkin concluded: “This offending is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

Clarke was also placed on the sex offenders’ register, and given a sexual harm prevention order, both for 10 years.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Clarke is clearly a danger to children and treatment must form part of his sentence to mitigate any risk he poses when he is eventually released. There can be no excuse to have such a sickening catalogue of abuse and every child will need support to recover. The NSPCC is calling on the government to implement a tough action plan to tackle the supply of, and demand for, child sexual abuse images online. Children who need help and support can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Adults with any concerns about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 8005000.”

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