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Man, 89, sentenced for indecent assault of children in the 1990s

The scales of justice and the words
In court

An 89-year-old man has been sentenced for indecently assaulting two young girls in the 1990s.

John Marsh, of Worle, was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault following a trial at Bristol Crown Court last year.

The former police officer was sentenced in December 2022 to a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also handed 40 days’ rehabilitation, a year’s curfew, and he has to pay each of the victims £5,000.

Following the hearing, one of his victims said: “I’ve lived with this for most of my life, this was a man I trusted who I held in high esteem and looked upon as my ‘uncle’ being that he was a very close family friend and also a high-ranking retired police officer.

“I’m glad I had the courage to come forward and hope this gives courage to any other possible victims. Some justice has now been served and I hope he feels utterly ashamed of himself for all the awful things he has done.”

DC Vicki Evans, investigating officer, said: “John Marsh took advantage of these children’s innocence for his own gratification, and at the sentencing hearing the judge made it clear that all the shame and guilt rests on him.

“I hope the bravery of the survivors in this case gives other victims of sexual offences the courage to come forward and report incidents to us, no matter how long ago they were committed.

“We will do everything we can to achieve the outcome that’s best for them.”

If you are affected by the issues in this case, you can find information on the help and support available, on the This is Not an Excuse website. The site also has information on how police respond to reports of non-recent sexual offences.

If you are ready to report a sexual offence, visit our online reporting page for information on how to get in touch and what happens next.