May 2023

Blairite ex-Labour MP, 66, who downloaded and shared sick child rape videos before telling cops ‘I kept telling myself to stop’ is jailed for more than two years

A former Labour MP who downloaded and shared indecent images of children as young as three being molested and gang raped has been jailed for more than two years today.

Paedophile Paul Clark, who represented Gillingham in Kent for 13 years from 1997, was caught with more than 1,000 stills and movie clips on five electronic devices and showing some of the most serious acts of abuse.

Among his obscene collection included a video depicting pre-school children being raped by two men at the same time and a vile montage of 15 clips showing youngsters ‘aged between three and six’ being subjected to the ‘most shocking acts of sexual depravity’.

Following his arrest by the National Crime Agency at his home in Gillingham, on May 12 2021, Clark told officers: ‘I know why you’re here. I kept telling myself to stop.’ 

The disgraced 66-year-old was jailed for 28 months at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent today – exactly two years after he was arrested. 

As well as his vile trove of sickening abuse images, the court also heard Clark engaged in sexually explicit online chats, sharing deviant images, including a video of a teenage girl performing a sex act for more than two minutes.

They included a video lasting more than two minutes of a teenage girl performing a sex act.

Clark pleaded guilty in December last year to three offences of making indecent photos of children between April 2013 and May 2021 and six of distribution between October 2020 and May 2021.

Earlier, the court heard details of the images, some depicting pre-school children being raped by two men at the same time.

One was a montage of 15 clips of youngsters aged between three and six years who, the judge said, were ‘all under the control of adults in the most shocking acts of sexual depravity’.

On his iPhones were what prosecutor Daniel Stevenson described as ‘two significant chatlogs’ in which, during WhatsApp and Kik conversations with two other users identified as ‘Toni’ and ‘PR’, Clark discussed the sexual abuse of children and shared explicit images and videos.

He also accompanied the moving clips sent to Toni, who had talked of abusing a 14-year-old boy, with an audio file in which Clark said: ‘You horny little f***er. Are you going to tell me what you’ve done and where you’ve done it?’

Clark, using the Kik handle ‘JackHardAlways’, also spoke of a sexual fantasy involving a 16-year-old, and referred to his then wife and adult daughter in terms which Judge Philip Statman described as ‘total humiliation’.

The judge said he accepted that the pandemic and his failing marriage may have contributed to his mild depression, telling Clark: ‘Possibly because of the job you had, the control you had, the excitement you had in those years both as an MP and after, travelling as you did, that being at home and stuck with difficulties within your marriage may have contributed to the level of depression that you felt.

‘I have no doubt as you sit there engaged in this offending, it doesn’t go through your mind that you will be caught and be presented before a crown court today.’

But having also taken into account the delay in bringing the case to court, Clark’s guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, and the voluntarily steps taken since arrest to address his offending, Judge Statman said he could not spare him jail, as urged by his barrister.

‘These offences clearly pass the custody threshhold and well and truly pass the level which would permit me to impose a suspended sentence order, bearing in mind the aggravating factors I have mentioned,’ he told Clark.

Clark will have to serve half his sentence and will be subject to signing on the sex offender register for 10 years on release.

He will also be subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and barred from working with vulnerable adults and children.

The father of two was supported in court by two relatives, said to be his cousins.

The court was told by Prosecutor Mr Stevenson that none of Clark’s offending occurred while he was an MP.

Mr Stevenson said however that there were two ‘distinct periods of offending’, with just 20 images having been downloaded in 2013 and the majority seven years later during the Covid pandemic lockdown.

A total of 298 category A images – the most serious classification – 415 category B and 733 category C images were found on two iPhones, an HP laptop, a hard drive and Acer computer tower.

Of these, 343 were videos, with 141 classed as category A.

‘The age range of children was between three and 16, mostly relating to females although there was at least one image of a six-year-old male child,’ said the prosecutor.

The court was also told of the sexual terms used in Clark’s internet searches.

‘Other chatlogs indicate that the defendant was also using Kik to identify and talk to users who may have been under the age of 18,’ added Mr Stevenson.

Passing sentence exactly two years after Clark’s arrest, Judge Philip Statman told him although the case represented ‘a tragic fall for someone who had put the community first’, his offending was so serious that jail was inevitable.

The judge added: ‘Each of these children is a victim. From the images it is clear they are disturbed by that which is being done to them.

‘This is a catalogue of criminal offending….committed for your own sexual gratification.

‘It is not just a case of browsing on the internet…This is almost a level of addictive conduct which you pursued and you have a very long way to go in understanding what led you to commit these criminal offences.