September 2013

Loner caught with child abuse images for second time – just days after prison release

A LONER was caught with indecent images of children on his computer within days of being released from prison for distributing illegal images abroad.

In December 2011, Franklin Marshall was locked up for three years after being caught hoarding thousands of images of child abuse on his computer and mobile phone.

The 41-year-old had shared some of the photographs and movies via e-mail, with a Facebook friend and a penpal in America.

At the sentencing hearing, Marshall, of Arundel Place, Sunderland, was told of the damage caused to the terrified children featured in the footage.

He was released on licence from the jail term on June 21 and had to abide by strict licence regulations and abide by a lifelong Sexual Offences Prevention Order which restricts his use of computers and contact with children.

The court heard on July 13 police seized a laptop computer from his bedroom, which he repeatedly denied having when first confronted, and indecent images were found when it was examined.

Because of the fact it is unclear when the photographs were made, or even if Marshall knew the programme containing them was on the machine, he faced no charges in relation to them.

Marshall pleaded guilty to breach of the SOPO by not making the computer available immediately when asked by the police and trying to block their way into his bedroom when they arrived.

Marshall has been recalled back to prison, for four months. He will not be freed, even after the term is completed, until officials grant him release on licence again.

The judge said: “Here we have you, very shortly after your release from prison, denying you had access to a computer.

“When the computer was analysed they weren’t able to establish when the images were put on or whether you knew they were on. By having that illicit computer you put yourself at risk of being tempted to obtain those sorts of images.”

Paul Cross, defending, said Marshall hid the computer in a moment of panic but had volunteered the fact he also had an external hard-drive once he had calmed down and started to co-operate.

Mr Cross said Marshall, whose home has been daubed with offensive slogans after his release, had been accessing adult porn and may not have known the illegal images were there. He added: “The only things that were found are things he might not have known about.”

December 2011

Loner distributed huge hoard of child abuse images

A LONER who distributed huge amounts of sickening child abuse images to perverts as far afield as the US has been jailed for three years.

Franklin Marshall hoarded thousands of images of children on his computer and mobile phone at his parents’ home in Sunderland.

The 40-year-old, who has never had an intimate relationship, shared some of the photographs and movies he had collected, via e-mail, with a Facebook friend and a penpal in America.

His secret life was uncovered when police raided his home and discovered his illegal and disturbing stash, and then were able to track his history of online behaviour.

Prosecutor Mark Donkin told Newcastle Crown Court: “He said he had distributed them to other people, but was unable to remember to whom or how many he had distributed.

“He accepted one was a Facebook contact, and a penpal based in the US.”

The court heard one police officer involved in the case said this was the second highest level of distribution he had come across in his career.

Yesterday, Marshall, of Arundel Road, Sunderland, was jailed for three years.

Judge Roger Thorn told him: “Over a period of time you, in your isolated social position, became an obsessive and substantial and devoted hoarder of child porn and worse still, you have distributed it.

“You have possessed, made and distributed these grossly obscene images to a very substantial extent, to an extent not previously seen in terms of number.

“These are real children being abused by real adults, and the children abusing each other.

“It hardly needs me to tell you these are real children who have been involved, I fear, when vast sums of money are paid throughout Europe and elsewhere.

“The damage to those children must be appalling. The wiping out of this commercial activity is of such difficulty and degree that those who get caught have to bear a substantial brunt of the criminal responsibility because getting hold of the Mr Bigs in this world proves so difficult.”

Marshall must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and has been made the subject of a sex offenders prevention order for life.

Paul Cross, defending, said Marshall, who still lives with his parents, had never been in trouble before, has lived a hard-working life and slipped into a “sudden descent” of using the material but now feels genuine remorse.

Mr Cross said: “He persuaded himself, as many do, that just looking at photographs does no harm.

“He is now fully conscious that the harm is it generates a market for this sort of material.”

Marshall, who admitted a total of 17 illegal porn charges, has lost his job because of the convictions, the court was told.