A Calderdale man has been handed a prison sentence of over ten years after being found guilty of rape, indecent exposure, and sexual assault against a vulnerable woman.

Paul Andrew John Marsh, 57, formerly residing on Thornton Terrace in Halifax, was sentenced on Friday, 26 May, at Bradford Crown Court.

Marsh was convicted by a jury of multiple offences that occurred between 2017 and 2019 against a woman in her twenties. The victim came forward in late 2019 to report the crimes, prompting an investigation by the Calderdale Safeguarding Team.

Following his arrest in January 2020, Marsh faced charges including rape, sexual assault, and indecent exposure. Despite pleading not guilty, he was found guilty after a trial at Bradford Crown Court, which concluded on Friday.

In addition to serving an 11-year custodial sentence, Marsh has been placed on the sex offender register for life. Furthermore, he has been issued a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that will remain in effect indefinitely.

Detective Constable Rosie Harrison of the Calderdale Safeguarding Team commented on the sentencing, expressing satisfaction with the substantial custodial sentence imposed on Marsh. The sentence reflects the gravity of his offences, which were described as truly abhorrent. Marsh’s actions constituted a betrayal of trust and targeted a vulnerable victim and her family during the specified period.

DC Harrison acknowledged the victim’s courage in coming forward to report the crimes and enduring the trial, particularly in light of Marsh’s not-guilty plea. She also took the opportunity to encourage other victims of unreported sexual offences or abuse, whether recent or non-recent, to reach out to the police. Assuring the public of the sensitivity and confidentiality with which all reports are treated, she emphasised that the police would diligently investigate all cases and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

This case highlights the importance of reporting such heinous crimes and the support available for victims. The justice system remains committed to protecting the vulnerable and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.