A man with learning difficulties who sexually abused a 12-year-old boy at a skate park in Croyde is to receive supervision in the community.

Richard Marshall suffers from such severe autism, low IQ, and other psychological conditions that he was ruled unfit to plead to the serious allegations against him. This means that he cannot be sent to jail.

On Wednesday (September 18) the 29-year-old was ordered to undertake a sexual offenders treatment course during one-to-one meetings with probation officers in North Devon over the next two years.

Marshall, of Pathfields, is a well known character in Croyde and a number of villagers wrote references for him in which they praised the way his parents have cared for him.

At an earlier hearing, Marshall, from Pathfields, Croyde, was found to have committed two counts of rape, one of attempted rape, three of sexual activity in the presence of a child, and two of sexual activity with a child.