Paedophilia suspect claims Cambridge University education

Beatrice Ramsay - News Reporter 15 October 2009

An ex-English teacher who has recently confessed to sexual assault on children has also claimed that she once attended Cambridge University.

Carole Clarke, 46, from North East Lincolnshire, faces jail after confessing to a number of serious sexual assaults against girls and boys aged between four and seven.

Clarke worked from October 2003 to April 2007 as a part-time tutor for mature students at Franklin College in Grimsby as well as teaching adults from home.

The ex-tutor said that she was a student at Cambridge University before dropping out and having a breakdown.

Clarke was due to go on trial at Grimsby Crown Court last Tuesday 6th October. Before the trial could take place however, she confessed to a charge of following children into public lavatories as well as communal showers on caravan sites and sexually assaulting them.

Clarke was arrested in January of this year after some mental health teams, from whom she had sought help, alerted police of their suspicions. Some of her offences, however, date back as far as 1992. She admitted to two counts of indecent assault on a child around June 1992 as well as three allegations of sexual assault on a girl younger than 13 during or before August of last year.

The assaults took place in and around Clarke’s home town of Grimsby. One occurred in the public lavatory in Grimsby’s Market Hall, with two others occurring in public lavatories in Woodhall Spa. She denied another six counts of sexual assault. These accusations will remain on file but will not be pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

It is unknown how many assaults Clarke has committed since, or even before, 1992. The ex-teacher herself informed the police that she had committed at least 100 assaults on a small number of children, although whether this is true or not has yet to be established.

Recently another female paedophile, the nursery worker Vanessa George, was convicted of sexual abuse against children in her care. George, 39, a mother of two, from Plymouth, formed a paedophile ring with two friends, Colin Blanchard, 38, and Angela Allen, 39, who she had met on the social networking site Facebook.. The gang, who had in fact never met in person until their court appearance, carried out a series of horrific sex attacks on young children as well as exchanging images over the internet.

Humberside Police, who are dealing with Clarke’s case, were, however, keen to reassure parents who might be worried about their children. Detective Sergeant Stewart Watson stated that ‘predatory paedophiles’, such as Carole Clarke, are “rare”. Watson further stated that ‘Only about five per cent (of abuse cases involving pre-pubescent children in the UK) are thought to involve a woman acting alone.’

However, these cases have emphasised the often neglected fact that women can be abusers too. As Watson stated, ‘There are still those members of the general public, and even some experts, who still ignore women’s capacity for sexual abuse. Thankfully, education is challenging these beliefs’.

Carole Clarke is due to be sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on December 14.

Beatrice Ramsay – News Reporter