Tyne & Wear

Ex-football coach John Marshall sexually abused boys

John Marshall Image copyright NORTH NEWS
Image caption Mr Marshall attended a previous hearing, but was no longer well enough to attend court

A man abused five boys when he was a football coach in the late 1970s and early 80s, a jury has found.

John Marshall, 71, faced 11 charges of indecent assault. Two of his victims came forward after contacting an NSPCC hotline set up two years ago.

Marshall of Longbenton, North Tyneside, was deemed unfit to face trial after being assessed.

But in a trial of facts at Newcastle Crown Court a jury decided he committed the acts he was charged with.

The hearing was told Marshall had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy when he was giving him private coaching lessons.

'Horrific abuse'

The court also heard the boy claimed to have been assaulted on seven or eight occasions but had been too afraid to tell anyone.

Marshall was arrested in January 2017 as part of Northumbria Police's Operation Tide, an ongoing investigation into allegations of child abuse at football clubs in the North East.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Marshall callously preyed on the footballing ambitions and trust of young boys in order to carry out horrific sexual abuse.

"His victims were left severely traumatised and too afraid to reveal what happened to them. Today's verdict underlines why it is so vital that survivors of abuse come forward, no matter how much time has passed, to receive justice and the support they need.

"A number of Marshall's victims contacted the NSPCC's football abuse helpline on 0800 023 2642 and we urge any survivors of child sexual abuse in football to do the same."

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