March 2021

Face of paedophile who posed as soldier while grooming girl online

This is the face of a 47-year-old man who groomed a 14-year-old girl online while pretending to be a former soldier.

The girl began chatting with Jason Clarke via a social media network and within weeks it had escalated to sexual images being exchanged between the pair.

His offences only came to light when an unexpected comment at school by the teenager led to suspicions being raised by her teachers and the true extent of what was happening came to light.

Her teacher’s suspicions proved correct when it was found the 14-year-old had been exchanging sexual images with a Warwick man more than three times her age but posing as a 28-year-old.

Clarke – who tried to blame his victim for the conversations becoming sexual when interviewed by police – was jailed last week for 20 months for his crimes and Warwickshire Police has now released his custody image.

Clarke, of Webb Drive, Warwick, had previously admitted causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual communication with a child and causing or inciting a child to look at an indecent image.

The victim told Warwick Crown Court, through a heart-wrenching impact statement, that she still suffers nightmares and awakes “scared he was in my room or in my bed”.

The girl’s heartbroken mother also penned a statement which spoke of the pain at watching her daughter “become a shadow of her former self”.

“You (Clarke) have broken a bond myself and [her daughter] had. I feel angry that you managed to manipulate her in to doing what you wanted and made her feel like you were her world.”

Judge Jacob Hallam QC told Clarke: “You pretended that were not a man in your 40s who lived at home with his loving wife and were father to two children.

“Instead you pretended you were a 28-year-old ex-soldier, seeking no doubt to take on the mantle of the life of a man who was more exotic, and an ex-soldier would appeal more to the child who you were engaging in conversation.

“You utterly misled this child for your own sexual gratification. Creating for her a fantasy of a man on whom she thought she could rely and to whom she felt she was becoming attached.

“She felt that as you groomed her. You had all the knowledge. You had all the power. You had all the control.”