September 2020

South Devon man jailed for abuse at Watcombe Hall Hospital, Torquay

A 43-year-old man from Shaldon has today been jailed for 11 years for sexually abusing teenage girls at an independent mental health hospital.

Marcus Daniell of Torquay Road, Shaldon, worked as a Senior Care Assistant at Watcombe Hall Hospital in Torquay which provided specialist mental health services to under 18s.

In May 2017 the hospital was placed into special measures after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) deemed it inadequate and in September 2017, it was permanently closed.

In July 2017, officers from the Public Protection Unit were informed of allegations of abuse towards a patient at Watcombe Hall.

Further enquires undertaken by officers identified two further victims who subsequently made disclosures.

The victims were all aged between 16 and 17 at the time of the offences.

The three girls reported to police that Daniell had sexually assaulted them over a number of months and that the severity of the assaults had escalated over time.

The victims reported that on multiple occasions Marcus Daniell said he loved them and bought them sweets and presents.

After initial statements had been taken from the victims, Daniell was arrested at his home in Shaldon.

At first he denied the allegations but the investigation was able to unearth evidence including detailed phone data and text messages in the case against him and in court he entered a guilty plea to 21 offences dated between October 2015 and June 2017.

Marcus Daniell appeared at Exeter Crown Court today [Wednesday 30 September] where he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

August 2020

Care worker facing jail for sexually assaulting teens with mental health problems

A former mental health worker is facing a jail sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting three female teenage patients over almost three years.

Marcus Daniell kissed the female patients on their lips and groped their legs, breasts, or private parts while working as a senior support worker at privately run adolescent mental health units in South Devon.

Daniell, aged 46, of Torquay Road, Shaldon, pleaded guilty to 21 counts of sexual activity with a person with a mental disability by a care worker.

They cover a period between October 2015 and June 2017 and involve three girls who were aged 16 and 17 at the time.

He admitted kissing one girl on the lips at least 15 times, touching her leg and breast and penetrating her vagina with his finger.

He admitted touching a second girl on the leg, and kissing and groping the third complainant. He also admitted penetrating her vagina with his finger and putting his penis in her mouth.

Judge Peter Johnson adjourned his sentence until September and released him on bail with a condition that he does not contact the victims.

He told him: “Immediate custody is inevitable in this case. You should put your affairs in order.”

He was prosecuted after a police inquiry that followed concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission into the running of homes in Torquay and Chudleigh, both of which have now closed.