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Priest charged with possession of thousands of indecent images

Thu 08 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield

A Catholic priest has been charged in connection with more than 3,000 indecent images of children.

Fr Paul Clarke is accused of offences relating to indecent images of children whilst at St Anthony's Church in Rye, East Sussex.

The 71-year-old, who now lives in Urmston, Greater Manchester, is due to appear on bail at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Thursday October 15.

He faces charges of possessing an indecent image of a child, possession of prohibited images, and three of making a total of 3,100 indecent images of children.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, follow an intelligence-led investigation by the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT) of Sussex Police.

"All the charges involve images allegedly taken from the internet. There is no evidence of contact offending and none of the images are of local children.

"Officers had executed a search warrant at Clarke's Rye address, the residential presbytery attached to St Anthony's Church, on November 13 last year, and seized computers and related material."

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