disgraced  | 

Pervert politician claims 'media is out to get me' in run up to NI election

Paddy Clarke insisted 'I’m not a convicted sex offender. You can keep pushing that thing where I grabbed a girl’s a**e'

Paddy Clarke

Ciaran Barnes

A pervert ex-politician claims he is the victim of a dirty tricks campaign after being linked to claims of an assault.

Paddy ‘PC’ Clarke, who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections, was spoken to by the police after an incident on Main Street in Newcastle.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Police received a report of an assault in the Main Street area of Newcastle on April 9.

“One man was spoken to in relation to the incident.”

Clarke, who has previous convictions for sexual assault, three frauds and smashing up a neighbour’s home, is a former SDLP and Alliance councillor.

Speaking to the Sunday Life, the disgraced 47-year-old said: “I’m making absolutely no comment because it’s the usual story.

“You have been running stories about me since 2012. Now, 10 years later, all of a sudden I run for election again and a story pops up. Surprise, surprise. There was no assault.”

Clarke was the first politician in Northern Ireland to be disqualified from holding office for breaking the local government code of conduct.

Despite his appalling record, he is hoping to secure a South Down Assembly seat at next month’s election and, if successful, has promised to donate his MLA salary to charity.

Clarke claimed details about the incident in Newcastle were leaked to damage his electoral chances.

He ranted: “It’s the usual story with gossip media. They shout your mistakes and whisper your successes. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

The ex-councillor then bizarrely denied being a sexual predator despite being put on probation for 10 months and fined £200 for a hotel sex assault.

Sentencing him, Judge McCourt described his behaviour as “alarming to say the least”.

Clarke added: “I’m not a convicted sex offender. You can keep pushing that thing where I grabbed a girl’s a**e.

“When you use that term ‘sex offender’, that’s a headline for you. You’re trying to sensationalise.”

Two years ago, Clarke was back in the news when he recorded himself dancing around his living room while “stoned off my head with a bit of grass”. A court previously heard that he has “a problem with alcohol abuse”.

With an election looming, he tried to tone down his behaviour. Promising to donate his MLA’s salary, if elected, to the Saint Vincent de Paul charity, Clarke told the Sunday World: “Giving your salary to a good charity lets people see you’re running for all the right reasons.

“By being an independent candidate at the Assembly election, I want to represent those who have no independent voice.

“There are many people of all ages and backgrounds living right across South Down who wish politics to change.”

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