Southampton abuse ‘guilty’ plea saves the trauma of court for his complainants

As part of Operation Marmion, an initiative led by Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes and Hampshire Police, a further case has been uncovered of historical sex crimes that were carried out at a Southampton children’s home.

Marmion is part of a national campaign for an ongoing review of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and abuse cases, specifically in relation to a series of investigations between 1997 and 2013. Evidence is currently being re-examined from various child protection specialists from four councils in Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It has been working to uncover several cases of child exploitation and outstanding missing persons cases.

The latest fruits of Marmion’s labours is the successful conviction of two men, who were charged with carrying out a string of sex offences in the late 80s and early 90s against boys at the former Thorold Road children’s home, which closed in 2009.

As part of Operation Marmion in February, the two men, Stuart Thomas Murdoch and Jack Jones, appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, which they were successfully charged with.  The charged offences include gross indecency and indecent assault

More recently, 56-year-old Jones, who is from York, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of child sex offences as well as indecent assault on a male at Southampton Crown Court in March. The saving grace from his plea, was that it saved those who were brave enough to come forward from the distress and trauma of reliving their experiences in court, which is what can often happen in the case of a not-guilty plea. In these instances, investigations can be much more wide-reaching and can involve victims themselves giving evidence and in most cases coming face to face with their abuser.

With his guilty plea, the case relating to Jones means those who have already suffered need not put themselves through any more unnecessary trauma. He will be sentenced later in the year.

If you have been affected by anything written in today’s blog, or you need some advice and support in relation to any cases being dealt with under Operation Marmion, then you can call the legal team here at Verisona Law. We have many years’ experience in sensitively handling many cases like these and we would be happy to help.

Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.


  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.


  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.


  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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