Conman dies after pouring acid on his own face
Fraudster, 55, who posed as ex-MI6 spy to dupe Adam Johnson’s family out of £170,000 then poured acid on his own face while being sentenced for another con dies of his injuries
- Marc Marshall poured substance over himself at Inner London Crown Court
- The 55-year-old defendant died of his injuries in hospital this morning
- He was in the dock and had just been sentence for fraud offences when he doused himself with noxious substance earlier this year
A fraudster who doused himself in acid in the dock was accused of swindling the family of shamed footballer Adam Johnson out of £170,000 as they fought to clear his name has died from his injuries.
Career conman Marc Marshall, 55, – who uses a number of different aliases – emptied a metal bottle full of corrosive liquid over himself at Inner London Crown court in May.
He was taken to hospital in a critical condition after shocking witnesses. He died this morning.
Marshall, from Woolwich, south London, was being sentenced for cashing £135,000 in fake cheques before he had to be hosed down by firefighters as his skin burned.
Witnesses heard him scream in agony and his face ‘went white’ before he was taken to hospital where he is currently in a critical condition. A female custody officer who was guarding him in the dock was injured and was treated at the scene.
Career conman Marc Marshall – who uses a number of different aliases – has died after he emptied a metal bottle full of corrosive liquid over himself at Inner London Crown court
The court service is said to be ‘deeply concerned’ about how he was able to bring the substance into the building and it has launched an investigation.
Marshall was reported to have been carrying a metal water bottle but CCTV footage is said to have been filmed sipping from it as he went through security.
Marshall, who was jailed for two years and four months for the latest offences, has hidden behind a string of different identities to dodge the authorities in the past.
In 2016, it was reported that footballer Adam Johnson’s family hired him after the footballer was jailed for six years for intimately touching a girl of 15.
The family of the former Premier League star, who has now been released, allegedly made a stream of payments to a him – he then used the name Mark Hill-Wood – who promised he could unearth vital evidence in his favour.
In another fraud Marshall got a luxury package to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, including hospitality on the Mercedes F1 yacht. Photographs later emerged of him posing with former British Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard during the racing
But Marshall – who touted himself as a special investigator and claimed to have spent 25 years working for GCHQ and MI6 – is said to have duped Johnson’s family.
He had made a professionally produced website for his firm FullProof Intelligence.
The Daily Mail revealed he persuaded them to hand over £36,000, and up to £170,000 was paid – until they severed ties when they realised he was not delivering.
Hill-Wood has racked up at least 48 convictions using different aliases.
In April 2014 using the name Phillip Buffett, he defrauded Harrods out of a £216,000 watch and was handed a suspended sentence.
He used a cheque from a closed bank account to leave the Knightsbridge store with the Hublot timepiece, a second watch, a camera and clothing worth a further £28,000.
The family of the footballer (pictured with his then girlfriend Stacey Flounders) – who has now been released – allegedly made a stream of payments to Mark Hill-Wood
Marc Marshall was in the dock at Inner London Crown Court (pictured) when he poured the substance over himself
The following month the fraudster, who has also used the names Mark Cas and Mark Castley, flew to Monaco to watch the Formula One Grand Prix. He was arrested at Gatwick Airport on his return.
He was criticised in the dock by a judge because he was wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt, with the judge asking ‘What’s wrong with M&S?’
He admitted seven counts of fraud against businesses and individuals, totalling another £119,000, as well as breaching a ban on him acting as a company director.
The court was told he also cheated several companies and defrauded two men who applied to him for work under the umbrella of a company known as Uber Intelligence
One of the firms, a market leader in counter-explosive and IED products and training, was conned out of more than £27,000, it was reported.
Marshall was treated at the scene by a paramedic – who is said to have described his injuries as ‘life-threatening’ – and was taken by ambulance to St Thomas’ Hospital (pictured)
In another fraud the defendant got a luxury package to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, including hospitality on the Mercedes F1 yacht.
Photographs later emerged of him posing with former British Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard during the racing.
In March 2011 he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for conning money out of elite UK athletes with the promise of lucrative sponsorship contracts in the build up to the London Olympics in 2012.
During his appearance at Inner London Crown court this week, he was being sentenced for targeting photography companies across London.
He paid for equipment worth £77,000 with bogus cheques which he then tried to sell at Cash Converters.
He had pleaded guilty to three counts of false representation and one of concealing criminal property.
A witness told the BBC that when he was sentenced he poured the liquid over his face which ‘looked like he had glue on his skin.’ It is believed that he had also drunk some of the liquid.
A court administrator said: ‘We had the fire brigade here to douse him off, and a few ambulances.
‘Several firemen came inside and there were police as well.’
Marshall was treated at the scene by paramedics – who is said to have described his injuries as ‘life-threatening’ – and was taken by ambulance to St Thomas’ Hospital.
The case had already been delayed because Marshall suffered serious medical problems after stabbing himself in the neck when he was arrested by police in 2016.
A spokesman from the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police were called to Court 10, Inner London Crown Court, at 12.01pm on Monday, 29 April, following reports of a serious assault.
‘Officers, London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance attended and a male aged in his fifties was found to have doused himself with a noxious substance.
‘He has been taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries. His condition is critical.
‘A female dock officer was also injured by some of the substance. Her injuries are not believed to be serious and she did not require hospital treatment.’
A HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesman said: ‘The safety and security of all court users is our priority and we’re deeply concerned about the incident.
‘Police are urgently investigating what happened and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’
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