Zara Phythian was jailed for eight years for the historic sexual abuse of a girl who was aged between 13 and 15 and her husband Victor Marke sentenced to 14 years for jointly abusing the same victim, as well as the indecent assault of a second girl
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Marvel actress Zara Phythian has been jailed for eight years for horrific child sex offences.
The Doctor Strange star appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Monday after she was found guilty of the historical sexual abuse of a girl who was aged between 13 and 15.
Phythian’s husband Victor Marke was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for jointly abusing the same victim, as well as the indecent assault of a second girl.
Passing sentence, Judge Mark Watson told the couple that he believed the start of the sexual abuse of the joint victim had been pre-planned.
The judge told Marke: “I regard you as the driving force behind the abuse. You were clearly aware of the first incident but pretended to be asleep.
“This could only have been a ruse agreed in advance.”
During the sentencing, the judge also said that Phythian’s “deviance” was shaped by the influence that Marke had on her from an early age.
The couple, who got together near Zara’s 20th birthday and later married, both vehemently denied the accusations at their trial, but were jointly convicted on 14 charges of sexual activity when the victim was in her early teens.
The stuntwoman and martial arts champion – who used her married name for the court hearing of Marke – turned 37 last week, the day before the pair were convicted of carrying out multiple sexual acts on the girl, who they told not to tell anyone.
The couple’s depraved sex acts with the child, now an adult, happened before fourth dan black belt Phythian hit the big time.
Nottingham-born and bred Zara Marke, of Taurus Close, Mansfield, was spotted in America when she won four national title belts in the same tournament, before branching off into her film career and achieving worldwide fame with the role of Brunette Zealot in Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie.
Ahead of their sentencing, prosecutor is Ahmed Hossain QC read out victim impact statements.
On behalf of the first victim who is concerned in the charges relating to Victor Marke only – four indecent assaults on her – Mr Hossain said that after having training for safeguarding, she realised every example of grooming applied to her.
The second statement was then read out to the court, which detailed the impact on the victim that Marke and Phythian jointly abused.
She said in her statement: “you robbed me of my innocence”, “corrupted my development”.
“You showed you liked a very advanced naughty side that satisfied your sexual urges,” she said. She also spoke about feeling scared and intimidated by them.
She decided she did not want to continue to be “[their] puppet”.
The statement described more about the impact on her health, two years of turmoil and how she realised she was abused.
“I have become an adult now. All the pain, anger and disgust and shame I felt is now on you. Both of you”.
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