Northern Ireland

Paedophile Clarke should return to face me, says victim

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Media captionBilly Brown, who was abused by Henry Clarke, says he was a 'monster'

A child sex-abuse victim has challenged his abuser to return to Northern Ireland to face him.

Retired church pastor Henry Clarke, 75, admitted he had abused three boys at Northern Ireland care homes, including Billy Brown in 1968.

Mr Clarke, who now lives in Canada, confessed his crimes to police in 1985, but has never been prosecuted.

Mr Brown said he had gone "through hell" since the abuse, and called for Clarke to prove his remorse is genuine.

Prosecutors in Northern Ireland are considering a review of the case after they said police had not provided them with "significant evidence concerning serious offences".

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Media captionHenry Clarke said he abused a young boy after he 'saw an opportunity and took it'

"You've admitted it - just jump on the plane and come home yourself, face the music, come and face me," Mr Brown told BBC Radio Ulster's The Stephen Nolan Show.

"I'm not hiding from him any more, I'm not scared."

'I want him prosecuted'

Henry Clarke first came to the attention of police in 1982, when the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) started an inquiry into sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys' home in Belfast.

Some of the teenagers who had been abused at Kincora had come from Bawnmore home in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, where they said they had also been abused.

Belfast man Mr Brown was 12 years old and in care when he was abused by Clarke, who had invited him to his family home, introduced him to his parents and then abused him while he slept.

Image caption Clarke moved to Canada where he worked as a pastor as several churches before his retirement

Mr Brown, now 61, said he was "angry" with Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and the police for their failure to bring his abuser to justice.

He said: "Why was I left in the dark all them years, going through alcoholism, taking drugs, trying to kill myself?

"He shouldn't have been able to leave this country to get to Canada.

"I want him prosecuted - if others have got jailed, why not him?"

'Too much time'

After carrying out his abuse in Northern Ireland, Clarke later moved to Canada, but returned on a family holiday in 1985.

He was taken in for questioning by police and admitted abusing two boys.

Image caption Clarke was traced to northern Canada by BBC News NI's Kevin Magee (left)

In spite of his confession, the then director of public prosecutions ordered "no prosecution".

That, prosecutors said, was because too much time had elapsed between the offences and the confession.

When he returned to Canada, he wrote a letter to police in which he admitted sexually touching another child in in 1968, 17 years before his confession.

The RUC decided not to tell prosecutors, given the previous decision not to mount a case against Clarke.

The PPS has now requested that the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) provides information linked to Clarke.

Questions have been raised over why the RUC did not alert Canadian authorities to Clarke's history of abuse.

For years, he continued to live his life in Canada without anyone in authority knowing about his confessions.

In a statement to the BBC, the PSNI said it contacted Canadian police in 2016 to inform them that Clarke was "an alleged abuser at a children's home".

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