Lonely fight for justice

15th April 2005 at 01:00
Every Saturday morning Peter Clarke would religiously watch his two lads play rugby. But that all stopped in March 2002 when Mr Clarke took on the "daunting" task of investigating the seedy world of John Owen. The former drama teacher, TV scriptwriter and paedophile had killed himself six months earlier, the day before he was due to stand trial on sex abuse allegations.

The only person left in the world to bring some closure to the case was the man they dubbed the children's champion. But it would take 27 months for Peter Clarke to investigate, and publish, his Clywch report, and it took a tremendous toll on his family life. He worked late nights and weekends and, several months into the inquiry, booked a room in a hotel opposite his offices. He no longer saw any point in taking work home - it was never ending.

As Mr Clarke sweated over endless witness statements, threatening letters and the haunting pleas of Owen's powerless victims, he admits he became very angry.

"As I started to uncover more, I just wanted to put things right. I wanted the report to tell it how it was in language that smacked of emotion and feeling - I owed that to Owen's victims."

When Clywch was published last July, Mr Clarke started living again.

"Family is important to me and home is definitely where the heart is.

"It is not a place to take work and office politics, but once I started with Clywch there was no turning back. I had to commit myself to it 100 per cent."

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