Sex offender found guilty of molesting young girl

A Wigan family say they have gone through the worst six months of their lives after their young daughter was sexually abused.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 8:38 am
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 12:18 pm
Bolton Crown Court
Bolton Crown Court

They were speaking out after the youngster’s tormentor was found guilty of molesting her.

Stephen Clarke was convicted of sexual assaulting the youngster - who was aged under 13 - at the time, following a Bolton Crown Court trial.

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The 29-year-old, who gave his address in the magistrates’ court as Clap Gate Lane in Goose Green, was also accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 by penetration but he was found not guilty of this.

He will learn his fate at a sentencing hearing next month. Afterwards the victim’s devastated family spoke about their ordeal as the case moved through the criminal justice system and expressed relief it was over.

The jury found Clarke, who was described as being from Lancaster Road North in Preston in the crown court dock, guilty of touching the girl on April 28.

The accusation of penetrating an under-age girl also referred to the same date.

Clarke was remanded in custody after his first appearance before the magistrates in Wigan and will now once again wait behind bars prior to sentencing by trial judge Timothy Stead on November 15.

Clarke has already had to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and his final appearance he court will determine how long he has to remain on it.

The jury sat through two weeks of evidence and deliberations before reaching its verdicts.

Afterwards the victim’s father told of the toll the whole process has taken.

He said: “It has been a hard six months, the worst of our lives.

“I’m glad the jury has seen through him and he hasn’t got away with it scot-free, that’s the main thing.

“We’re just glad it’s all over. Now we have to try to move on as best we can.”