April 2019

Predator sexually assaulted woman as she slept and abused child

A man sexually assaulted a woman as she slept and repeatedly sexually abused a child by kissing her and touching her breasts, a court heard.

Richard Marsh, 38, denied all the charges against him but was found guilty by a jury following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court of seven sexual offences involving two victims.

In his sentencing remarks Judge Neil Bidder QC told the defendant: “I regard you as someone who is entirely amoral when it comes to sexual intercourse.”

The court heard the woman clearly told Marsh she did not consent and the judge noted: “She repeatedly made that clear.”

Judge Bidder found she was particularly vulnerable because she was asleep when the assault happened.

He told the defendant: “You knew had she been awake she would not have consented.”

In a victim personal statement read out in court, the woman said: “When I have to talk about what happened I can’t stay still and find myself pacing the floor and twitching.”

She said she struggled to eat and sleep following the offending and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She added: “I suffer panic attacks for no reason.”

The court heard the girl was a teenager when Marsh kissed her, touched her breasts, and encouraged her to touch him in a sexual way.

In her statement she said she was doing exams at the time and failed a test because she could not focus on her revision.

Susan Ferrier, prosecuting, said a pre-sentence report found Marsh to present a high risk of causing sexual harm to women and girls.

The defendant, from Culver Close in Penarth, was found guilty of attempting to rape the woman and assaulting her by penetration.

He was also found guilty of inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

Marsh was jailed for six and a half years and must register as a sex offender indefinitely.