July 2023

Darlington couple jailed for sickening child sex abuse

The full scale of a couple’s depravity only came to light when they were caught by a paedophile hunting group after they groomed a ‘teenager’ for sex

The perverted couple have now been sentenced to a combined total of 37 years

A search of Amy Scott and Gavin Marsden’s home revealed they had a vile collection of child abuse videos and photographs many of which were recorded by the pair.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the sick Darlington couple had sexually abused a number of children over several years before they were finally brought to justice.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said that their reign of abuse came to an end when Scott started sending a 14-year-old girl sexually explicit messages and videos without realising she was talking to a decoy posing as a child.She said Scott sent the girl a video of herself performing a sex act before encouraging her t0 do it to herself.

Scott then arranged for the pair to meet the teenager at Durham Railway Station in April last year but they were confronted by members of the paedophile hunting group who had already called the police.

Following their arrest, police searched their home and recovered several digital devices and a forensic examination revealed the full extent of their depraved behaviour.

Miss Egerton said a significant number of child abuse images were recovered as well as a series of messages between the pair encouraging each other to sexually assault children.

Marsden, 31, – who has previous convictions for child sex offences – and 32-year-old Scott, both of Cobden Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to a catalogue of sex abuse charges, including distribution of indecent images of children, possession of indecent images of children and attempting to engage in sexual behaviour with a child.

Judge Chris Smith branded Marsden as the driving force behind the couple’s sickening child sex abuse campaign.

He said: “An examination of digital devices seized after your arrest uncovered a shocking catalogue of child abuse committed by the pair of you over a long period of time.”

He said that a WhatsApp conversation between the pair revealed Marsden requesting that Scott should photograph herself performing a sickening sex act with a very young child.

He added: “Other indecent moving and still images recovered after your arrest reveal how you were involved at first hand in the sexual abuse of children and in the making and possessing of child pornography.”

Marsden was given a 22-year sentence – 16 years in custody followed by an additional six years on extended licence.

Scott was given a 15-year sentence – 11 years in custody and a further four years on extended licence.