Crosby man jailed for sickening string of sexual offences against a child

A man from Crosby has been jailed for 10 years for committing a string of sexual offences against a child.

Joseph Clifford, 37 years, of Crosby was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, 17 April, to 10 years in prison with a lifetime registration requirement and Sexual Harm Prevention Order. 

He had pleaded guilty to 13 offences including assaulting a girl under 13 by penetration, assaulting a girl under 13 by touching, two counts of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, five counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child, three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, and possessing an indecent photograph of a child.

Detectives carried out the investigation after receiving a report in November 2023 from Greater Manchester Police, who had made digital enquiries that had linked Clifford to the sharing of indecent images while living in Manchester.

GMP referred information to Merseyside Police after Clifford moved to Merseyside, and following enquiries, he was arrested.

Detective Constable Paul O’Brien said, “Clifford exploited a young girl whose age made her a vulnerable target for his despicable and depraved actions.

“He betrayed the trust they would have had in an adult in the most sickening way, and I hope he spends his time behind bars considering the very severe impact his actions will have had on her and her family.

“I hope this sentence provides some comfort to them, although I know the effect of his awful crimes will be long-lasting.

Detective Constable Paul O’Brien added, “Merseyside Police is completely committed to protecting children from sexual abuse and stopping those who seek to do them harm. 

“If you have experienced any form of sexual abuse, or know of a child being abused, please come forward and report this to police.

“We take all such reports extremely seriously and if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us we have specially trained officers who will treat you with sensitivity and compassion.”

If you are a child or young person suffering sexual or physical abuse, the following organisations can also provide help and support:

  • NSPCC – call 0808 800 5000 or e-mail help@nspcc.org.uk
  • Childline – call 0800 1111

If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind don’t be afraid to tell someone, find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve.

You can report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences anonymously here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/advice/rape-sexual-assault-and-other-sexual-offences/how-to-report-rape-sexual-assault-other-sexual-offences/

There is a lot of support available from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.

In Liverpool, Sefton, and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.

Image: Joseph Clifford/Merseyside Police

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