Prolific paedophile Joseph Marshall has had his appeal for a reduction of his sentence turned down.
In April Mr Marshall was sentenced to six years in prison for historic sexual offences committed at Knottfield children’s home in Douglas where he worked.
Representing Mr Marshall in the appeal application, Collingwood Thompson KC’s basic argument was that in sentencing Mr Marshall, Deemster Bernard Richmond ‘did not sufficiently take into account’ factors of his personal mitigation.
He outlined these mitigating factors, which included the impact of Mr Marshall’s previous 1992 prison sentence for sexual offences at Knottfield, which resulted in him losing his employment and never being able to get another job, outside of ad-hoc work.
His church had also told him not to come back, the court heard.
Mr Marshall’s latest conviction came after two more victims spoke out to report his abuse against them.
In announcing the refusal, Jeremy Storey KC said that the reasons would be outlined in a reserved judgment, which will be published in due course.
In addition the factor of his earlier sentence, Mr Thompson argued that the stigma of being convicted of such offences in the small island community meant that Marshall had become ‘a prisoner in his own home’ for years, being unable to go out for far of being assaulted, having been ‘pilloried by publicity’.
The court heart that the police had even issued him a panic alarm to guard against this.
‘His punishment lasted far longer than his prison sentence,’ Mr Thompson said.
A second factor he put forward was Mr Marshall’s deteriorating health, ‘an accumulation of medical conditions’ including COPD, stomach cancer, and heart issues which required the implantation of a pacemaker.
These had worsened during delays to his trial due to the pandemic, Mr Thompson explained.
‘Our submission is that the sentence was 12 months too long,’ he concluded.
Representing the Attorney General, prosecuting advocate James Robinson said that it was ‘hard to consider a more serious and gross breach of trust’ [than committed by Marshall], and that ‘the way we view sexual offences has rightly moved on since 1992’.