A MAN from near Wem was jailed for more than three years for sexually assaulting a girl aged under 16.

Richard Clarke, 34 and of Wem Road, Clive, was jailed for three years and one month – reduced from four years and six months for an early guilty plea plus ‘genuine remorse’ for his actions – at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Tuesday.

On February 14 this year, Clarke admitted three counts of sexual activity with a child in incidents that took place in August 2022 and received further sentences of four and 12 months for counts two and three respectively, to be served concurrently.


The court heard that his victim was left ‘in a constant state of anxiety’ after the incident and that he had instructed her to delete messages shared between the pair.

In a statement read out by prosecuting barrister Kevin Jones, the victim added that ‘he (Clarke) took my first kiss away from me and manipulated me’.

Judge Anthony Lowe also heard that the defendant conducted a Google search on whether he would get into trouble for sexual activity with a person aged under 16.

Defending, Robert Edwards told Judge Lowe that his client had contributed to his society through volunteering and other work and that ‘he blamed nobody else but himself’ for the situation he was in.

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Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Lowe told Clarke that while he accepted he had shown remorse, his actions were aggravated by a previous caution for possession of indecent images and that what he did was ‘seriously wrong’.

He was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order but was told he would serve half of his sentence on licence.

However, Clarke will have to notify police of his whereabouts upon release.