23rd Sep, 2018

Mother's nightmare after girl, 4, raped by Coventry man, 19, in her own home

Editorial Correspondent 11th Sep, 2018 Updated: 11th Sep, 2018

A YOUNG Coventry man who raped a four-year-old girl while visiting her home was caught after the police found images of the sexual abuse on his phone.

And after hearing details of Connor Marshall’s ‘horrific’ offences, a judge said that he poses a serious risk to other young children.

Marshall (19) of Binton Road, Wood End, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of raping the little girl, having already admitted sexually assaulting her and possessing indecent images of children.

He was given what is known as an extended prison sentence of ten years and eight months in jail, followed by an additional period of eight years on licence.

As a result, he will have to serve at least two-thirds of the jail term before the Parole Board will consider his release – but could end up serving the full sentence.

Whenever he is freed, Marshall, who also has to register as a sex offender for life, will be on licence for the rest of the custodial period and a further eight years, during which he can be recalled to prison if his behaviour gives any cause for concern.

Prosecutor Matthew Barnes said that early this year Marshall was arrested on suspicion of raping another young girl, which led to his phone and computer being seized.

They were sent away to be examined by police experts, and in the meantime he was granted police bail with a condition that he have no unsupervised contact with any child under 16.

On his phone the police subsequently found six movies and 14 still images classed as being in category A, showing children, some of them babies, being subjected to penetrative sex acts.

There were also two category B stills of children in non-penetrative sexual activity and 20 category C stills of children in naked or indecent poses.

While that investigation was pending, in breach of his bail, he visited the home of a young woman who had a four-year-old daughter, said Mr Barnes.

The police were tipped off by a relative of the woman who had come across a form setting out his bail conditions, which he had left there, and became concerned.

When officers left after speaking to the little girl’s mother, the youngster revealed she did not like Marshall because he had licked her.

When Marshall was arrested, a second phone was seized from him – and on it officers found recordings he had taken of the girl after making her lie on her bed naked.

The girl’s mother told the court: “I feel sick all the time. I feel he has used me to get to my daughter. I want to ask him ‘Why did you do this? Why my child?”

Marshall denied the rape allegation which had led to his initial arrest, and Mr Barnes said it had been agreed that that charge should lie on the file.

Simon Hunka, defending, conceded: “It is every parent’s nightmare. It must be difficult to imagine how she feels.”

But he said he had to raise what was in a psychiatric report on Marshall, commenting that had he sought professional help for feelings he said he had, he might have received the help he needed before the offences.

“… He set out in the interview with the psychologist that he was very ashamed of himself. However, he didn’t stop himself doing it again.”

Jailing Marshall, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You used the fact that you had access to her to abuse her in the most horrific manner.

“It happened in her bedroom in her own home and, as a four-year-old child, she had very little idea what was happening other than that she knew it was something she didn’t like at all. She was quite unable to complain about what you were doing.

“I could not possibly begin to assess what the long-term effects on her will be. As she gets older she will begin to understand more what has happened.

“It is near impossible to imagine what it must do to the mother of a small child they have done everything in their power to protect when they find out that child has been brutally abused.”

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