England

Birmingham PE teacher Marcus Marcussen jailed for abuse

Marcus Marcussen Image copyright PA
Image caption Marcus Marcussen worked at Illmington Road Comprehensive School in Weoley Castle

A retired PE teacher has been jailed for nine years for sexually abusing schoolboys nearly 60 years ago.

Marcus Marcussen, who worked at Illmington Road Comprehensive School in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, assaulted 12 students between 1957 and 1978.

On Wednesday, a jury found the 91-year-old, of Rochford, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, guilty of 25 counts of indecent assault on boys.

Judge Nicholas Webb said the offences had been "tinged with sadism".

Whale bone weapon

Birmingham Crown Court heard how pupils were abused during and after PE lessons and at a swimming club called the Square Club in in Weoley Castle.

Marcussen used a whale bone to strike and intimidate the youngsters, witnesses said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The defence claimed Marcussen "would be the oldest person to be sent to custody for the first time"

Jurors also heard how pupils were made to stand on a chair after showering so he could abuse them under the pretence he was checking to see if they were dry.

The judge said at least one victim had since attempted to kill himself, while another was caned by a headmaster after making a complaint of sexual abuse.

"You retain an acute intelligence and although you are physically frail, forty or fifty years ago I am sure you were a formidable presence in the classroom," Judge Webb told Marcussen.

"Every one of the witnesses remembered you and your deeds."

"Some have come to terms with their experiences better than others.

"However, all of the men who gave evidence, some now in their sixties and one or two in their seventies, have been affected for the worse by their experiences literally at your hands."

Defence counsel Sharon Bailey had urged Judge Webb to be lenient and told the court that "at the age of 91 he would be the oldest person to be sent to custody for the first time."

"Any custodial sentence passed on Mr Marcussen is going to weigh far more heavily on him because of his age than it would on any other defendant," she said.

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