North Wales rapist killed vet after prison treatment ‘made him worse’
Clive Sharp raped, tortured, killed and dismembered a Mold vet after taking part in a scheme that ‘normalised’ sick fantasies
A serial rapist from Gwynedd who committed one of North Wales’ most sickening murders had been on a failed sex offender treatment programme.
Clive Sharp, from Bethesda, had taken part in the sexual offenders treatment programme (SOTP) while in prison for rape in the 1990s.
Earlier this month it emerged that the scheme was finally ended in March after studies showed rapists and paedophiles who took part in it were more likely to reoffend.
Factory worker Sharp, now aged 51, was jailed for a minimum of 37 years in 2013 after confessing to raping, killing and dismembering vet Catherine Gowing at her house in New Brighton, near Mold.
During his trial at Mold Crown Court, it was revealed that he had been fulfilling “a longstanding fantasy of imprisoning, raping and murdering a woman”.
The jury were told that he had spoken about his sick desires while taking part in group therapy. Now it has been uncovered that far from suppressing his behaviour the sessions encouraged it.
Clive Sharpe, pleaded guilty to the murder of Catherine Gowing.
A Ministry of Justice review found that the group talks allowed offenders to share “contacts and sources” or normalise criminal behaviour.
For offences involving explicit images of children, the reoffending rate was significantly higher for those who completed the programme – 4.4% compared with 2.9% in the comparison group.
The “treatment” had been in use since 1992 and continued to be used despite growing reservations from professionals, who now claim they were silenced.
According to the report the programme, which has cost more than £100 million since it was set up, was delivered to groups of eight men at a time who completed the course over 180 hours.
Clive Sharp appeared in court in Mold charged with the murder of Catherine Gowing
The analysis of 2,562 convicted sex offenders said it was “possible that attendance on the core prison-based SOTP may increase the propensity to sexually reoffend amongst sex offenders… This may have been as a result of the sole emphasis on group treatment.”
It added the lack of one-to-one treatment tailored to the individual may have played a part: “Group treatment may ‘normalise’ individuals’ behaviour: when stories are shared, their behaviour may not be seen as wrong or different; or at worst, contacts and sources associated with sexual offending may be shared.”
According to the Mail on Sunday the MoJ has obtained legal advice about the report’s likely impact. It has warned that victims attacked by programme ‘graduates’ after their release may be able to sue the Government for damages.
Even sex offenders whose release was delayed while they waited for places on the courses could sue.