Police praised for dogged pursuit of conman

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Detective Constable Sean Donoghue Detective Constable Sean Donoghue

Relatives of two of Marshall’s elderly victims praised the police operation that brought him to justice.

Officer in the case, Detective Constable Sean Donoghue, was compared to a rottweiler for his tenacity in getting his man.

Rene Widdop’s son-in-law, James Shackleton, told the Telegraph & Argus: “It is a reprehensible crime to pick on vulnerable old people.

“The police have been after Marshall like a rottweiler. They have been on his tail and they have been brilliant at keeping at him.”

Mrs Widdop’s daughter, Sandra Shackleton, spoke of her horror when she realised how close Marshall lived to her mother, now aged 90.

“I wanted to come to court today to see what he looked like and I wanted to see what he got,” she said.

Mr Lobley’s son, David, said it was every family’s worst nightmare to have people like Marshall knocking on the doors of their elderly relatives.

He said: “I hope his sentence acts as a deterrent to others who might be thinking of attempting the same thing. There is no place in society for people like that and I am glad he has been taken out of it.”

Sarah Swithenbank, police case builder, was publicly commended by Judge John Potter for her role in the investigation.

After the case, Detective Constable Donoghue said: “Marshall pretended to be a handyman to trick his way into the houses of the elderly and most vulnerable and callously steal from them.

“Tackling burglary is a priority for West Yorkshire Police and I hope that today’s sentence sends out a strong message that it will not be tolerated and it will help to bring some comfort to his victims.

“This also serves as a reminder for people to check the identity of doorstep callers to make sure they are who they say they are. If you have any doubts, do not let them into your property until you’ve checked with the company they say they are from. Legitimate callers will not mind waiting.

“If you are still unsure about their credentials, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.”

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