A former Labour MP has been jailed for more than two years for making and distributing child abuse images.
Paul Clark, 66, who represented Gillingham in Kent from 1997 to 2010, was caught with 1,446 indecent images of children on five electronic devices, including “imagery of children as young as three”.
Clark, a former parliamentary private secretary to the then-deputy prime minister John Prescott and education secretary Ed Balls, was sentenced to 28 months in prison at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday.
On December 2 2022, he pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and six counts of distributing indecent images of children between April 2013 and May 2021.
The court heard that when Clark was arrested at his home by the National Crime Agency (NCA) he initially made no comment, but later told officers, “I know why you’re here”, and “I kept telling myself to stop”.
Catrin Attwell, specialist prosecutor of the CPS’ organised child sexual abuse unit, said: “Paul Clark knew he was in possession of and shared indecent images of children but did not admit his wrongdoing when interviewed under caution.
“When later presented with the overwhelming evidence, he pleaded guilty.
“Examination of the electronic devices revealed offences relating to indecent images of children on five devices, this included imagery of children as young as three and a high number of moving images.
“The electronic devices also revealed chatlogs in which Clark discussed his sexual desires, distributed indecent images of children to others for their sexual gratification and used social media to identify and talk to users under the age of 18.
“Our organised child sexual abuse unit was set up in April 2022 to prosecute child sexual abuse.
“We work closely with law enforcement agencies to build strong cases against offenders using the internet and social media to commit sexual offences and are determined to help stop the devastating impact of these crimes on victims and bring offenders to justice.”
Clark has also been issued with a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders register.
The court heard there was no evidence that any of the offending took place while Clark was in office.
Clark was a parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for Transport from October 2008 to May 2010