Blackpool Elvis impersonator jailed for raping schoolgirl
A Blackpool man who performed as an Elvis tribute act on Central Pier has been jailed for raping a schoolgirl 19 years ago.
Clayton Sandlin - also known as Clayton Mark - has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he was found guilty of historical sex offences dating back to 2002.
The 62-year-old, of Norkeed Court, Queens Promenade, was accused of preying on a 15-year-old girl whilst starring in an Elvis tribute act on Central Pier, where he continued to perform until 2016.
Then aged 43, Sanlin had been singing the King’s greatest hits to unsuspecting crowds whilst using his position of trust to exploit the girl, who he subjected to horrific sexual attacks, including rape.
He was found guilty at Preston Crown Court on Monday (June 28) and sentenced to eight years behind bars. He has also been handed a lifetime sex offenders notification and lifetime restraining order.
Det Con Adam Weaver, of Blackpool Police, said: "Sandlin is a predatory individual who pursued the victim to satisfy his own depravity.
"He used a position of trust to exploit the girl, then 15, before committing several horrific sexual attacks, including rape.
"The victim has shown tremendous bravery in coming forward and telling police what happened. She has also shown great courage during the trial process.
"Sandlin is clearly a dangerous individual and his sentence reflects the gravity of his actions."
As well as performing on Central Pier, Sandlin also sang at the St Annes Christmas lights switch on in 2014.
How was he caught?
In 2018, Lancashire Police said it received a complaint from a woman alleging Sandlin had committed a number of sex assaults against her in 2002, when she was just 15-years-old.
Following enquiries, Sandlin was voluntarily interviewed by police in connection with the allegations.
He was later reported for summons for one offence of rape and two offences of indecent assault.
Sandlin pleaded not guilty, but following a trial at Preston Crown Court, he was found guilty and convicted of the historical sex offences.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: "We would encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence, current or historical, to come forward and report it to us, safe in the knowledge we take all reports seriously and ensure victims are treated sensitively and professionally at all times."
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