April 2013

Depraved paedophile caged for 14 years

Richard Marshall

A depraved paedophile, who committed sickening acts towards children in Hunmanby over two decades, has been brought to justice.

Richard Marshall, of Eastgate,Beverley, who was branded the village idiot growing up, is now starting a 14-year jail sentence after he after he returned to the village where he carried out his crimes – after three decades away.

His victims, some as young as five, claim warped Marshall ruined their lives, after carrying out a string of sickening sexual assaults on them.

And police believe Marshall would never have been brought to justice had he stayed away from the small community he devastated in the late-1970s and 80s.

Depraved Marshall, now 53, was told to leave the village on the North Yorkshire coast when he encountered one of his many victims when he visited in 2002.

The meeting led to his accuser being cautioned for harassment after shouting “paedophile” at the former travelling fun fair worker when he saw him in the street.

Marshall returned to live in the community eight years later, and there was another clash with the victim – who this time told police about his abuse as a child.

Five more people – boys and girls at the time – came forward or were traced, and Marshall faced a string of sex charges at a trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Despite being convicted on overwhelming evidence, the one-time farm worker – described by his barrister as a Walter Mitty character – continues to claim he is innocent.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, told Judge George Moorhouse that Marshall was a figure of fun in the community, and added: “He was regarded by many as the village idiot.”

He said: “He was someone who was prone to fantasise, and people referred to him as a Walter Mitty. Perhaps he was less sophisticated than other people his age.”

Marshall was convicted of four indecent assaults, five charges of indecency with a child and five counts of buggery.

His victims – aged between five and 13 at the time, while he was around 18 – told in statements how Marshall had ruined their lives, and they still suffered.

Judge Moorhouse also ordered Marshall to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned him from having unsupervised contact with children indefinitely.

A prosecution source said last night: “He is very likely to have got away with these crimes had he not gone back to the community where they were committed.

“None of the victims had come forward in 30 years so there is every chance they would not have, if only Marshall had stayed away. That was his downfall.”

The court heard how he systematically abused the children and got them to join in sex acts with him at places such as a renovated house and church toilets.

Mr Parsons described some of the pervert’s activities as “exhibitionism in front of children” and said his “stock in trade” was to expose himself.

Detective Constable Kate Peet, of Scarborough CID, ran the investigation which led to Marshall’s conviction and sentencing. She said: “I am extremely satisfied with the sentence handed down by the court. It is a reflection of the seriousness of the offences and the devastating affects they had on the victims.

 “Marshall is a calculating predator who took ruthless advantage of his victims’ age and innocence for his own sexual pleasure.

DC Peet added: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise and thank the victims for the their courage in coming forward to report the abuse.

“We know that this is not an easy subject for victims to deal with. As such we have specially trained officers who will support them from their initial report and throughout the progress of the case.

 “I hope that this case shows that even if abuse occurred many years ago, victims don’t have to suffer their pain in silence and justice can be done.”