John/Julie Marshall

John Robert Marshall/Julie Marshall, a male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court in February 2020 of three counts related to the possession of more than 80,000 indecent images of children.

The offences were too serious to be sentenced in the magistrates’ court so the case was referred to Preston Crown Court for sentencing.

Marshall, 54, had downloaded the “vast” cache of images over a 14-year period between June 2004 and April 2018. Police found 677 category A photos (the most serious category depicting rape of a child, and also extends to images that depict a child subjected to pain) 465 category B photos and 79,958 category C photos.

It emerged at sentencing that Marshall had accessed the images from their hospital bed over public wifi while recovering from a heart attack in August 2017. It is entirely possible that Marshall was accessing these images depicting the sexual abuse of children from a female ward, having self-identified as a woman to hospital staff. Media reports state that this is routine NHS practice here and here.

In a gross obfuscation, all media report state throughout, and in the headline, that the offences were committed by a woman and names ‘John Robert Marshall’ as ‘Julie Marshall’s alias’. See also media coverage of the rapist Craig/Lisa Hauxwell that carried a headline asking ‘Have you seen missing woman spotted in Derbyshire dressed as a man?’

On being questioned as to why their article referred to Marshall as a woman when the offender is male, the editor of LancsLive claimed it would be a breach of IPSO’s code to refer to someone “who is legally a woman […] as a man”.

Except, of course, the court documents state that Marshall is male. So LancsLive have actually breached IPSO’s code by referring to a male offender as a woman.

Sexual offences such as rape and possession of CSA images are typical of male pattern offending and the inclusion of even very small numbers of sex offences committed by males within female offending statistics will hopelessly distort them. Many more examples of the media attributing offences perpetrated by trans-identified males to women are collected under this tag.

The lawpages.com website (a resource which includes a database of sentences from across the UK) lists Marshall as transgender, rather than male or female – this appears to be a new category as previously, violent offenders featured on this site have been listed as female when, in fact, they are trans-identified males such as Lauren Jeska, who attempted to murder a UK Athletics official in 2016.

*Update July 2020*

Marshall was sentenced to nine months in prison for the category A images, six months for the category B images and four months for the category C images, with all sentences to run concurrently.

Marshall was also given a 10-year notification order to sign the sex offenders register and a six-year sexual harm prevention order.

The sentencing judge said Marshall’s “mental health issues have been of a long-standing nature […] from adolescence to adult life.” “It appears to me the period of time and the volume of images can only be met by an immediate custodial sentence.” It is unknown if Marshall has been sent to a male or female prison.

Media reports

BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-53410019

Almost 4,000 responses to the BBC’s tweet asked why our publicly-funded national news organisation is attributing male sexual offending to women.

Lancashire Post https://www.lep.co.uk/news/crime/nspcc-responds-sentencing-blackpool-pervert-jailed-viewing-child-abuse-images-hospital-2913838

Lancashire News https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/blackpool-woman-admits-having-more-17788403 archive

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