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'Britain's oldest ever defendant' appears in court charged with child sex offences aged 101

Ralph Clarke granted unconditional bail to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on 6 June

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 09 May 2016 19:37 BST
Ralph Clarke appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court charged with 29 counts of historical child sex offences
Ralph Clarke appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court charged with 29 counts of historical child sex offences (Elliott Brown/Creative Commons)

A 101-year-old is thought to have become the oldest defendant in British legal history after he appeared in court charged with historical sex offences.

Ralph Clarke appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court charged with a total of 29 offences committed against three children between 1974 and 1983 and was granted unconditional bail.

The pensioner, who was born in March 1915, did not enter a plea during the brief appearance.

He will appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a plea hearing on 6 June.

Clarke faces 15 counts of indecent assault, two of inciting a girl to commit an act of gross indecency, 10 allegations of gross indecency and two of attempting to commit another sexual offence.

Some of the offences are believed to have taken place in Clarke’s lorry and in a garage workshop, the Birmingham Mail reports.

His solicitor, Khizar Hyatt, said he understood the charge but indicated Clarke would enter a "not guilty" plea.

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