'Smiling' pervert who sexually assaulted women in Leeds city centre branded a 'menace to the public'

0
Have your say

A predatory sex offender who groped two lone women in Leeds city centre was branded a "sexual menace to the public" by a judge.

Patrick Clarke was out of prison on licence for sex offences at the time he struck twice in a day on June 30 this year

Patrick Clarke sexually assaulted his first victim outside the Corn Exchange in Leeds city centre

Patrick Clarke sexually assaulted his first victim outside the Corn Exchange in Leeds city centre

A court heard the 62-year-old approached the women from behind before sexually assaulting them.

During one of the attacks the victim turned around to see Clarke smiling at her as he carried out the attack.

The pervert was locked up for 16 months after pleading guilty to two offences of sexual assault.

Leeds Crown Court heard Clarke attacked the first woman, aged 28, outside the Corn Exchange at 10.30am after following her from Brewery Wharf.

Patrick Clarke's second victim was attacked as she walked across Woodhouse Moor

Patrick Clarke's second victim was attacked as she walked across Woodhouse Moor

Glenn Parsons, prosecuting, said Clarke went up to her from behind and grabbed between her legs with his hand.

Read more: How student came to Leeds seeking political asylum but ended up becoming savage murderer
He said: "She turned her head but he was looking at her and had a big smile on his face."

Clarke then walked off, leaving the victim in shock.

The incident was captured on CCTV footage.

Leeds Crown Court

Leeds Crown Court

The woman described in a victim personal statement how she felt "panicked" and "creeped out" by the attack.

Clarke then targeted the second victim around two hours later.

The 23-year-old woman was walking to university across Woodhouse Moor when she noticed Clarke walking towards her.

Mr Parsons said: "It seemed to be nothing more than an elderly white-haired gentleman out for a stroll and she thought nothing more of it."

Clarke walked past her but two seconds later went up to her and pinched her bottom.

Read more: Leeds woman escaped drink-drive charge despite injuring paramedic going wrong way on roundabout
The prosecutor said: "The defendant simply walked on and walked away and did not stop."

"She felt small and degraded by his actions."

Police were contacted soon afterwards and an officer stopped Clarke in the area as he matched the description of the attacker.

At the time of the incident he was staying at a hostel in Headingley.

CCTV footage was obtained from the hostel which showed Clarke leaving the premises in the morning wearing clothing matching the description given by the women.

The court heard Clarke is a prolific sex offender.

He has convictions for 25 sex offences including indecent assault of a child, outraging public decency and exposure.

Read more: Street murder of Leeds man was "utterly senseless act of violence"
Christopher Dunn, mitigating, described Clarke's offences as "brazen"

He added: "He accepts that he has a real problem.

"He doesn't say this to be flippant."

Mr Dunn said Clarke was trying to get a transfer to a prison that ran an acknowledged sex offender treatment programme.

Sentencing Clarke, Judge Simon Phillips QC said: "It is concerning that you, as a predatory sex offender, are committing contact offences brazenly in broad daylight.

"You pose a sexual menace to the public at large and to lone females in particular."