February 2006

Pervert abused girls for 20 years

AN ex-soldier who carried out a 20-year campaign of child abuse has been jailed for seven years.

Michael Marriott, one of seven brothers and sisters, began abusing one of his victims when she was four-years-old and didn’t stop until she was a grown woman of 24.

The other victim was abused from the age of seven until her late teens.

Durham Crown Court heard how Marriott, 52, forced the girls to carry out revolting sex acts with him on a weekly basis. His campaign of abuse started in the mid-1980s.

Prosecutor Euan Duff said Marriott was a domineering bully who controlled his victims to such an extent they made no official complaint until 2003.

Marriott was born in Sunderland and educated locally before joining the Army. He left the services in 1976 and found work as a driver.

In the next 30 years, Marriott lived in 25 places around the country.

The court was told abuse took place while he was living in Sunderland, South Hetton, several places in County Durham and also at addresses in Southampton, elsewhere in Hampshire, and in Devon.

Mr Duff said both victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had “suffered dreadfully” and were now unable to have normal relationships.

One of the women has gynaecological problems caused by the abuse, the court was told.

Marriott, whose last known address was Lincoln Drive, Willington, County Durham, admitted 22 charges of indecent assault. He denied child cruelty and rape, and those charges are to be left on the file.

Alexia Zimbler, defending, said: “ He is angry with himself for not stopping this sooner, and he understands how the victims must hate him, although he tells me he hates himself more.”

Jailing Marriott for seven years, Judge Tony Armstrong told him: “You were abusive, domineering and bullying and this interference was carried out on a weekly basis. ”

Marriott was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans him from ever working, or having any unsupervised contact, with children.

He must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.

Judge Armstrong also imposed an extended licence which means whenever Marriott is released, he will be on licence until February 2016.