Leeds & West Yorkshire

Paul Marsden: Abuse victim shares 'closure' relief

Paul Marsden Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Paul Marsden, 63, was found guilty of indecent assault at Bradford Crown Court

A woman who was sexually abused as a child while she was part of a dance school said "being believed" more than 30 years later has brought closure.

Paul Marsden abused two teenage students at his wife's dance school, which he helped to run, in West Yorkshire in the 1980s.

The 63-year-old was jailed at Bradford Crown Court for nine-and-a-half years.

The woman, who has a legal right to anonymity, described the sentencing as "justice".

Using the pseudonym Faith, she told BBC Radio Leeds, she said: "Some of the things that happened to me were so horrific.

"They have a massive impact on a young person and it does stay with you, the effects have stayed with me for life.

"[The sentencing] is not something I'm going to go out and celebrate, but it's closure for me and justice after a very long time."

'Truth comes out'

Marsden, of Daisy Hill Back Lane, Bradford, was convicted in November of three indecent assaults but cleared of attempted rape and indecent assault.

A crowdfunding page was set up to pay his legal fees after he was found guilty, but it was closed down after a complaint was made.

At the sentencing hearing on Friday, Judge Colin Burn said it was clear from the evidence given by Faith at the trial that both the trauma and the anger remained with her.

She told the BBC: "Knowing that you've been believed after all of these years and there's been justice, it's a good feeling.

"I won't lie, [giving evidence] is a scary process, but I'm definitely glad I've done it - even if it was years and years ago, the truth always comes out."

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