Marcus Marcussen sentenced to 9 years for child abuse

Marcus Marcussen sentenced to 9 years for child abuse

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Introduction

We covered the case of Marus Marcussen was convicted on 10th February 2015 of 25 indecent assaults committed between 1957 and 1978 on 12 (or possibly 14) different victims. The case stirred a fair amount of interest due to the fact that the offences were so long ago and Mr Marcussen is now aged 91.

 

Sentence

The maximum sentence for indecent assaults throughout this period was 2 years. There has been an extremely frustrating lack of details here. We know that victims were hit ‘with a ‘whale bone’ – an animal part said to have been used by Marcussen to instil discipline‘. Although this was legal at the time, the Judge indicated that this indicated a sadistic backdrop to the offence.

Other than that, we have that Mr Marcussen “routinely ran his hands over the bodies of naked boys in changing rooms“. Additionally, he “would grab undressed children in the changing room and pull them into his lap”.

The age of the victims aren’t clear, but it seems that they were over 13 at the time. Currently the offence would be Sexual Assault, with guidance at page 18 of the Sexual Offences guidelines.

It would be a 2A offence with a starting point of 2 years and a range of 1-4 years. Of course, account has to then be taken of the multiple offending. Even then, the sentence of 9 years is not likely to be justified by this. So, it may be that some or all of the victims were under 13 at the time.

This is a more serious offence, with guidelines at page 37. This is a starting point of 4 years, with a range of 3-7 years. This might account for the total sentence being 9 years.

More likely, is that the Judge took it to be a Category 1 offence on the basis of ‘violence or threat of violence’. This gives a starting point of 6 years (or 4 years if aged 13 or over). This might account for the total sentence of 9 years when bearing in mind the multiple victims (and the mitigating factors).

It is a case where it is really to be hoped that the sentencing remarks are published so that the full details can be analysed.

 

Comment

They will be an appeal against sentence. It’s one to watch as permission really should be granted given his age.

Two specific points are of significance –

Firstly, Mr Marcussen’s age. In the Stuart Hall AG Reference the Lord Chief Justice said “His age and level of infirmity, too, are relevant to the sentencing decision, but need to be approached with a degree of caution.  In reality the offender has got away with his offending for decades.  None of the adults to whom the children spoke of their fears or experiences would have dared to take on one of the most celebrated television personalities of the day.  The offender must have known that“.

That was someone aged 83. It applies with greater force to someone aged 91 and it is interesting to know how the Court will deal with that. Whilst you cannot have an actuarial calculation, clearly one cannot ignore the fact that he will probably die in prison. Age was recognised as a mitigating factor in Hall, but we appear to be moving away from that. Here of course Mr Marcussen was in a position of trust, but was not a celebrity such as Mr Hall or Mr Clifford.

A second point is a more case specific one. The guidelines just mention ‘violence’ with no mention of whether it was lawful or not. This is sensible as, when the guidelines were drafted, the violence inevitably means unlawful violence. Is a Court entitled to take lawful violence into account in setting the Categorisation? It’s an interesting question, which it will be good to to see how it is tackled.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I was a pupil of Ilmington Road Boys School from 1965 at the age of 11-years, I was also a member of The Square Club Weoley Castle for 6 years. During that time the defendant never ever hit anyone with anything. I have subsequently spoke to a number of my class mates and old friends, no of us believes this can be true.
    This man was odd maybe. but a sadist never. He was generous with his time and money. I went on numerous holidays with him and a teacher from another school (Mr Grossman or Grosvenor) I think and other boys. One holiday was for three weeks on a old converted Midland Red coach to Europe. Never ever did he do any think wrong.
    Back to school days, one the first lesson we had with him he hit the step by the Gym with the Whale bone and that was the last we sore of it. The Whale bone was there to instil discipline without ever using it. He was a clever teacher and fine one. Yes, we stood on the chair coming out of the showers – for about half a second – he never touch us just sent us back to get dry if we were still wet. Yes, we swam in the pool naked, by our choice he never made us and in seven years of almost daily use he popped in to check the water on very few occasions. Before you ask no I am not Gay I am married with children. We also thought he may have been Gay and at the time it was unacceptable so he kept it quiet. He did so much for me and many others, had I known previously I could had gotten hundreds of boys to say the same thing, and can still if we can get an appeal. This sentence is barbaric for a man of his age. I probably know some of the so called victims. There were boys that had a vindictive grudge against him, the boys that could do or were excluded for PE the under performers, the boys that where picked on. I hope this is not there time foe getting revenge. We must stop this cycle of witch hunts – he was no Jimmy Saville, but he is punished as one. I can say so much more if you interested contact me on [redacted] Russell J.

    EDIT: IF someone would like to contact Russell, get in touch with us using the Contact Us button and we will pass the message on.

    • And if people were always what they seemed we would know who to avoid and no paedo would ever be given a job near children, we don’t, and therefore you cannot say with any certainty, just because you knew him, that he didn’t molest anyone.

    • I fail to understand how someone can be convicted of something that happened so long ago, victims statements may match up but no other evidence can be obtained. Actual events are correct but intent is questionable , what was accepted then now rightly is found very wrong, but how can you give a 91 year old man virtually a life sentence that happened when you never lived in that time it happened , murderers get less.

  2. Marcussen had his favourites which unfortunately included my father. He was a small child who was also the youngest in his school year. He WAS beaten by Marcussen. The option to swim naked was NOT afforded to him. Marcussen said that the lint from his swimwear was clogging up the filters in the pool so he had to swim naked. My father was a preteen he knew no better. Marcussen would regularly touch his genitals whilst wrestling him naked. This only scratches the surface of what my father had to endure year after year. It’s only an act of God that he wasn’t one of the three boys that Marcussen coerced into having sex with one another at his home. Marcussen is also alleged to have buggered at least one other boy.

    Russell, I understand your defence of Marcussen but in your own words you too are a minor victim. He made you stand on a chair to check your genitals. Do you really think he only wanted to see if you were dry? It doesn’t matter how long he made you stand there. The fact is he did. He denies even doing this to pupils. It is all part of his MO.

    The whole saga is drawing to an end (for my father at least). A judge has waived the six year restriction on claiming. The council has admitted liability and a line can be drawn under this whole mess. Reliving the events has brought back painful memories that my father would really like to forget. It’s not an issue of money either. Birmingham City Council knew about Marcussen and his antics. Numerous reports of abuse were reported to them and systematically ignored. They need to know that the failure to act on the reports of abuse has seriously affected the course of dozens of mens lives.

    I was surprised at the severity of the sentence given that Marcussen was 91 at the time of prosecution. We must remember that he got away with his crimes for over 30 years and that he was offending against young boys for two decades. I for one am glad that Marcussen will live out the rest of his days where he belongs. Prison.

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