Woman jailed over historic sexual abuse

A woman has been jailed over historic sexual abuse of a girl which has had a “life-changing” consequence for the victim.

Julie Marshall, of Warbreck Drive, Blackpool, was John Marshall at the time of the offences involving a young girl in a Nottinghamshire town.

At first, it started with the defendant cuddling her and progressed to more intimate touching.

Marshall was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, September 8, to a total of 27 months in prison and will be required to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years on her release.

She pleaded guilty to four indecent assaults and two of indecency with a child. All the offences date from when the victim was eight years old.

The victim said in a statement, read out in court in front of Marshall in the dock: “You knew what you were doing to me was wrong but you still did it.

“I found myself silenced in fear it was my fault”.

She began speaking to others about what happened before going to police.

Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said Marshall was sentenced to a total of nine months immediate custody on July 14, 2020, for three charges of possessing Indecent images of children – amounting to 81,100 indecent images accrued over a 14-year period between 2004-2018. She had two laptops, a phone and 31 separate computer discs containing a combined total of 677 Category A images (the most serious), 465 Category B images and 79,958 Category C images.

“It was, it is submitted, indicative of an ongoing sexual interest in young female children”, Mrs Hardy told the court.

Those offences came to light when the defendant had accessed, and downloaded, indecent images of children on her mobile phone whilst she was in hospital in August 2017 recovering from a heart attack. The use of the public wifi system had alerted relevant authorities and a search warrant was executed at her home address on April 19, 2018.

Now aged 55, she was summonsed to court on the abuse charges while serving that sentence in a male prison, HMP Preston, Lancashire, but was kept in isolation the entire time. She has suffered from a variety of difficulties, emotional and physical problems long-term. She is vulnerable in any prison environment.

Judge Rosalind Coe QC, who sentenced her, said the offending was over a 14-month period.

“The victim impact statement makes it apparent that this has had a life-changing consequence for your victim. It has come to light more recently, because she has only recently been able to gain the confidence and benefit of counselling and she has been able to speak to the police”.

She also said Marshall had a difficult upbringing and always suffered with the issue of sexuality and gender identity. There was a long history of repeated suicide attempts.

Marshall had triple heart bypass surgery and the unfortunate consequence for her was not being able to undergo hormone therapy or surgery for gender reassignment, added the judge.

The judge said: “For you prison is a very difficult prospect. If you move to a male prison, then you will be put in isolation, as you were before. If you move to a female prison, there will be all sorts of other difficulties that have to be faced. There will have to be a meeting to identify the best way forward”.


Nottinghamshire Live – Local News