September 2013

Coventry child rapist jailed for life


A serial sex attacker has been jailed for life for a string of violent sexual assaults on women and children.

Karl Clay, 39, from Wood End, Coventry, raped two children and attempted to suffocate and drown two women.

He doused three people, including two children, in lighter fuel and threatened to set them alight.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano, sentencing at Leamington Justice Centre, said he should serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

‘A monster’

In July, Clay was found guilty of 13 charges including raping children and attacking and threatening children and adults over a 16-year period from 1991.

These include indecent assault of a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, harassment and actual bodily harm.

Det Insp Christopher Hanson, from West Midlands Police, is convinced there are more victims of Clay who have not yet come forward.

“There are periods of Clay’s life we know very little about,” he said.

“He’s a monster guilty of horrendous crimes and I’m certain there are more people who have suffered at his hands.”

July 2013

Vile Coventry rapist poured petrol over his child victims and threatened to set them alight

A serial sex attacker from Coventry has been found guilty of a sickening catalogue of crimes spanning two decades.

Sick rapist Karl Clay, of Wood End, was today convicted of sexually assaulting ten victims over 20 years.

Police described him as a ‘‘monster and a bully’’ and said Coventry was a safer place with him off the streets.

He preyed on adult women and boys and girls as young as six.

Clay even poured petrol over some of his terrified child victims and threatened to set them alight.

The 39-year-old is now facing a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced in September.

He systematically attacked adult women, as well as boys and girls aged as young as six, and subjected them to degrading acts of depraved sexual and physical assault, sometimes using weapons.

His vile offences only came to light after two of his young victims, now teenagers, bravely broke their silence in the summer of 2011 to tell police their ordeal.

Clay was immediately arrested and specialist officers began a major investigation which uncovered a further eight victims, some who had been abused since the early 90s.

His victims were often abused more than once as he used manipulation and fear to get away with repeated attacks.

In 2005 he poured petrol over three of his victims, including two children, and threatened to set them alight by repeatedly flicking a lighter next to them.

One woman told how Clay tried to suffocate her with a pillow, and another revealed how he held her head in a bath full of water to try to drown her.

Other evidence showed how paedophile Clay would force young children to watch pornography and, in one incident, threw a fork into a young boy’s foot.

Today, at the crown court in Leamington, Clay was found guilty of two counts of rape, two counts of actual bodily harm, attempted rape, indecency with a child, indecent assault.

He was also found guilty of putting a person in fear of violence, threats to kill, two counts of rape of a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

Detective Inspector Christopher Hanson has branded Clay a “monster and a bully” and commended the brave witnesses who gave evidence at court.

He said: “This was an absolutely horrendous case that has deeply affected everyone who has worked on it; Clay stopped at nothing and Coventry is a safer place with him off the streets.

“The victims showed commendable bravery in coming forward and confiding the abuse during interview to our specially-trained officers; they have helped bring to justice a violent sexual predator.”

He added: “I would like other victims of historical sexual abuse to look at today’s conviction and have the confidence to come and speak to us.

“We take reports of sexual assault extremely seriously and will do everything possible to ensure victims are not denied justice, despite the passage of time. Likewise, if there are any other victims of Karl Clay out there I would urge them to contact us.

“No-one should suffer in silence and we can get you the support that you need.”

He was remanded in custody until sentencing.