A MAN accused of a catalogue of sex crimes against kids took his own life the day he was supposed to go on trial.
Steven Marchmont, 32, was found dead at the house he shared with father George in remote Golspie, Sutherland.
Steven Marchmont took his own life
He’d been waiting more than two years for the date and his family hit out at the time it took to grind through the Covid-hit justice system.
His four, now grown-up, alleged victims also blasted the delays.
A close family member speaking on their behalf said: “There are no winners in this.
“None of us get any satisfaction from the fact that someone has taken their own life.
“But the accusers feel like they’ve been robbed of their only chance at ever getting justice.
It’s like Steven has been able to get the last laugh. It should have got to court a lot quicker than it did.”
The alleged victims first went to cops in 2019 and Steven appeared in court in January the following year.
He faced ten charges including one of rape and three of indecent assault and lewd behaviour.
He made no plea at the time and was released on bail. He later pleaded not guilty and the case was set for a High Court trial in Inverness.
Witnesses were told to be at court last Monday but were later told the case would never go-ahead because Steven had passed away.
The family member said: “The accusers are concerned that because there was never a verdict they will never get away from this. They’re worried about what everyone is saying about them.”
Steven’s sister Jenny Nichols, 32, revealed the allegations turned him into a recluse.
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She said: “We live in a small village where you are guilty until proven innocent. Everyone had made up their mind. He didn’t leave the house for two-and-half-years. That’s not a life.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he was an innocent man. That’s why it ate him alive. He was terrified.
“It’s beyond tragic. We shouldn’t be sitting here waiting for the undertaker to arrive and going to plan his funeral. We shouldn’t be doing any of this.”
A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic upon the justice system, particularly the ability to progress jury trials, has been significant.
“COPFS understands that it has been a difficult time for those involved in this case and the unfortunate circumstances which have led to the end of these proceedings.”
A police spokesman said: “Around 11.05am on Monday, 7 March, officers were called to Sutherland Road, Golspie where a 32-year-old man was pronounced dead.
“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a report will be forwarded to the Procurator Fiscal.”
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