Teen locked up after trying to have sex with a dog

Joshua Clarke, 18
Joshua Clarke, 18

A teenager has been locked up after trying to have sex with a dog.

It was one of a number of sex offences - including possessing indecent images of children and inciting young teenage girls to commit sexual acts - which 18-year-old Joshua Clarke admitted.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how he incited two American-based girls, aged 13 and 14, to engage in lewd illegal acts over the internet.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said police became aware of images uploaded to the internet which were traced to Clarke's email address.

"Officers attended his home address and there they arrested Mr Clarke. They seized a number of electronic devices," said Mr Rogerson.

Forensic analysis of the devices revealed "graphic sexualised exchanges" with the two girls.

Scores of illegal still and moving images of children had also been created over a three-year period. Some were classed in category A, the most serious, and featured youngsters aged just three.

Clarke also admitted he had "repeatedly tried to have sexual intercourse with his dog".

Mr Rogerson said: "It appeared he had not been successful in that the dog had managed to successfully defend itself."

Mark Shepherd, defending, offered what he described as "significant personal mitigation" during a detailed address to Judge James Adkin.

Since the teen's arrest, his supportive family had tried to understand what had gone "so wrong" for him.

"Joshua Clarke went from being somebody who was this happy, bright, bubbly boy to suddenly becoming sullen, withdrawn and socially isolated," said Mr Shepherd.

As a result of bullying, he "withdrew himself and sought solace in the online community".

Clarke had since requested professional help, and Mr Shepherd suggested it would be "perfectly safe" for the teen to be managed in the community.

Clarke, of Macadam Way, Penrith, was sentenced having admitted two charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity; two of causing a child to watch a sexual act; possessing an extreme pornographic image; distributing indecent images of children; and attempting to have intercourse with a dog. He also admitted making indecent still and moving images of youngsters.

He was sent to a young offenders' institution for two years by Judge Adkin, who concluded: "This offending is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified."

Clarke must sign the sex offenders' register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order - both for 10 years - and will be reported to the safeguarding authorities.

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