Man admits child sex assault at pool

IPSWICH: A man with a fixation for young girls is today awaiting sentencing after admitting a sex assault on a ten-year-old at Crown Pools.

John Marczell, of Old Norwich Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at the town’s crown court to the assault which occurred May 10 last year.

The 25-year-old was also charged with touching three other girls aged 13 or under, on two different days at the same pool.

Although no plea was entered to these charges, Judge John Devaux said he would accept the single guilty plea on the basis that the other matters are considered at the sentencing.

The court had heard the offences, both admitted and alleged, were at the lower end of the scale and involved touching girls’ legs and bottoms over their swimsuits.

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Hugh Vass, representing Marczell, said of his client: “Clearly his behaviour is entirely inappropriate to say the least.”

Earlier he had told the court two of the allegations took place on April 25 last year, with the other two taking place on May 10 last year.

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Mr Vass said the touching, which happened at Crown Pools’ wave machine pool used mainly by children, was momentary and not a grope or a fondle.

The young girls were irritated by Marczell’s behaviour rather than traumatised, the court heard. On more than one occasion on April 25, Marczell had been warned off by lifeguards, but he returned on May 10.

Mr Vass said although his client had no previous convictions, he had received a fixed penalty for pointing a mobile phone up females’ skirts while they were going up an escalator.

Mr Vass added that, in his submission, what had taken place at Crown Pools was as minimal as it could possibly have been. However, he did accept there was the aggravating feature of it happening on more than one occasion.

As a result of his behaviour Marczell could also face being the subject of an order preventing him from going to swimming pools or having access to young children.

Judge Devaux adjourned sentencing until week commencing July 5.

Marczell was released on conditional bail. One of the conditions is that he is not to go to public swimming pools in Suffolk.

n Do you have concerns over your children’s safety in public places? E-mail or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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