December 2018

Paedophile receives prison sentence

A Bradford sex offender whose supporters took to crowdfunding website JustGiving has today received a nine and a half year prison sentence for sex offences against girls

The online appeal to pay Paul Marsden’s legal fees raised £320 before the page was shut down.

Marsden, 63, of Daisy Hill Back Lane, heard from the dock at Bradford Crown Court that one of his victims had suffered trauma and anger daily since he repeatedly sexually abused her in the 1980s.

The girl was a 14-year-old pupil at the dance school run by Marsden’s wife Stephanie when he stole her innocence, leaving her feeling “dirty, confused and isolated.”

Marsden first molested her when she was sleeping at his home overnight. He told her it was the start of their “sexual adventures,” and showed her pictures in a book of what to expect.

He went on to abuse her in his bathroom on five further occasions while his wife was teaching her dance pupils.

Marsden also dangled his keys down the top of another girl as she sat waiting for her dance class.

He was convicted by the jury last month of three charges of indecent assault and bailed until the sentencing hearing.

Prosecutor Kate Batty said the 14-year-old was particularly vulnerable. She saw the Marsdens’ home as a refuge from problems at home.

In her victim personal statement, she said the abuse put a huge strain on her family life and it had made her over-protective with her own children. She told how she suffered nightmares and struggled with anxiety and depression. She had seen a therapist for PTSD.

Although the police had been “compassionate and professional,” the inquiry had been stressful and she had been forced to relive her ordeal in court.

Now in his early sixties, Marsden, who “possessed many fine qualities”, would find prison hard to bear, he said. His health complications, and the fact that he would not be exposed to the general prison population because he was a sex offender, would be restricting.

Judge Colin Burn said of the younger complainant: “Both her trauma and her anger have remained with her every day.”

Marsden contended at the trial that he was “a willing but largely dispassionate helper” at his wife’s dance school but he was sexually motivated towards the pupils.

The abuse had an “ongoing and devastating” effect on the victim.

“It is clearly a case that richly deserves a lengthy sentence of imprisonment,” Judge Burn said.

Marsden must sign on the sex offender register for life and the judge made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order without limit of time.

November 2018

Man found guilty of three sex offences

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A man aged 62 has been convicted of indecently assaulting two young dance pupils more than three decades ago.

Paul Marsden, of Daisy Hill Back Lane, Bradford, was found guilty of two offences involving a child in her early teens and a single count against a girl aged 16 or 17.

He was cleared by the jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday of attempted rape and four further allegations of indecently assaulting the younger girl.

The case was adjourned until December 14 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Marsden’s bail was entended until the hearing.