Jake Clarke trial, 3–4 October 2018

On 4 October 2018, Jake Clarke, a young man with mental health difficulties, was found guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court on charges of harassment relating to two people involved in the Hampstead SRA hoax.

Sentencing took place on 18 October. Clarke was given a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for one year, as well as a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) to remain in place for five years.

The CBO required Clarke to remove from the internet child abuse and/or a satanic cult at Christ Church Hampstead, or Christ Church Primary School Hampstead all references to:

  • The two people he had been harassing;
  • Anyone who is or has been clergy, staff, a pupil, or a parent at Christ Church Hampstead or Christ Church Primary School Hampstead; and
  • Any discussion of child sexual abuse or a Satanic cult at the above-named locations.

In addition, he is prohibited from contacting in any circumstances, directly or indirectly, the two people he was convicted of harassing.

Clarke appealed both the verdict and sentence. On 15 February 2019, he lost the appeal against the conviction. The CBO remained in place, but the custodial sentence was reduced.

According to a report we received after the fact, the proceedings were less orderly than they might have been, as HHJ Dafna Spiro seemed not to have been briefed on the mayhem which often accompanies trials related to the Hampstead hoax.

Clarke actually fell asleep during the proceedings, and while the judge was delivering her sentence he stood up at four points, waving his arms and shouting at the bench. He then grabbed his jacket and bag, and left the courtroom.

He then re-entered and sat between his solicitor and father in the public gallery. Via his solicitor he sent a note to his barrister and apologised to the bench for his behaviour. Two minutes later, though, he was off again, and walked out again with another verbal volley at the bench.

When the judge and her two associates were leaving he came back in to court still ranting, and another verbal volley at the bench, demanding he see the paperwork of his appeal conditions. He concluded that the judges were also part of the cover-up.

In our correspondent’s terms, it seemed that the judge had “lost control of the court”, and it was mayhem—not unlike the insanity that marked the end of Sabine and Neelu’s 2016 trial.