John William Marshall (pictured below), 68, of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate
John William Marshall, 68, of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate

Serial sex offender from Harrogate sentenced to 13-years, but police believe there could be further victims

28 December 2023

A serial sex offender has today (Thursday 21 December 2023) been sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment at York Crown Court for twice subjecting a young girl to indecent assault in Northallerton during the 1990s.

John William Marshall, 68, of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate, was sentenced after being found guilty at a trial held in August.

He has also been made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

The bravery of the victim has ensured that Marshall faced justice for his crimes, despite the number of years that have passed.

The victim made contact with North Yorkshire Police in 2019 following publicity surrounding the conviction of Marshall for possession of more than 24,000 indecent images of children, for which he served a custodial sentence and made subject to a SHPO which was due to expire.

Marshall had previously been described publicly by a judge as a “dangerous paedophile”.

The court heard that Marshall had befriended the victim’s family, offering help with their newly acquired computer.

He was subsequently trusted to look after the girl when her parents went shopping.

It was during these times that Marshall sexually assaulted her.

The victim’s parents reported it to police and social services at the time, but no further criminal action was taken due to a series of complications.

Now an adult, the victim’s life had been overshadowed by the thought that she was not believed.

Adam Harland, Cold Case Review Manager at North Yorkshire Police, said:

In coming forward, the victim has now had her voice heard, her evidence believed by a jury, and she has obtained the conviction of the man who had grossly and indecently abused her as a child.

Sadly, we believe there could be further victims of Marshall out there. We urge them to get in touch, just like the courageous victim in this case has.

As you can see, time is no barrier to getting justice for victims of child sexual abuse.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, whether it is happening now or in the past, please contact the police.”

We appreciate that telling the police what has happened takes immense courage and it is never easy reliving extremely distressing experiences.

We understand this and that’s why we have specially trained officers who will guide you every step of the way and provide access to the full range of professional support services that are readily available.

In coming forward, we can get you the help you need and ensure offenders like Marshall cannot go on to hurt anyone else.

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