October 2010

Mum speaks out over sex case

THE Minehead mother of a girl who was the victim of a sex offence in Watchet said it had ‘wrecked’ her family and left them with a ‘life-time affliction’.

Jonathan Marshall, 21, from Melksham, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing a girl between the ages of 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity.

He was sent to prison for two years at Taunton Crown Court last Friday (see the court case report below).

The mother of the girl, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, said: “I don’t think two years is enough. I don’t think anyone is really happy with the outcome.

“He got two years but my daughter has to live with this for the rest of her life.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s going to prison and he will pay the price. He will be on the Sex Offenders’ Re-gister for ten years – I think it should a lifetime.”

She said the family had rallied together to support each other and added: “The police have been very good and the Child Protection services have been very helpful.

“We can have counselling, and she’s already been offered counselling, which she’ll be taking up, and I just give her support too.”

She said she had noticed a change in her daughter since the incident.

“She’s definitely changed. She’s very frustrated, mainly, and she’s not able to deal with simple things.

“She’s only a child and such things aren’t supposed to happen to children.”

She added: “He’s wrecked his own family and ours. It is a lifetime affliction for us.”

COURT CASE A MAN who had sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 in Watchet was sent to prison for two years at Taunton Crown Court on Friday.

Jonathan Marshall, 21, from Foxgrove Close, Melksham, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing a girl between the ages of 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecuting, Ian Fenny said: “He encouraged her to believe he had genuine feelings.”

He also said he told the girl his current relationship was unrewarding but the incidents came to light when the girl decided she could no longer deal with their relationship and decided to tell her mother about it.

Mr Fenny said Marshall’s actions have had a devastating effect on those affected by them.

Defending, Terence Holder said: “I do not think he is a terribly bright lad and probably did not realise just how serious his offences would be.”

He said Marshall pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and added: “He was a young man at the time and he is remorseful.”

The court heard that other aspects of the case, including failure to use contraceptive protection, were aggravating factors but the girl was fully consenting.

Judge Martin Picton said: “It is a wicked thing to do just for your sexual satisfaction.”

Marshall will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years and is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the next five years, to stop him from working with children indefinitely.