The Prince’s Trust has defended its decision to present a Melton teenager with a royal award even though he was facing criminal charges at the time.
The youth charity helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives back on track and to gain the skills and confidence to find a job.
In November Marcus Marshall (18) was named winner of the HSBC Breakthrough Award at the trust’s ‘Celebrate Success’ Awards.
The trust said this award ‘recognised the progress of young people who have developed new skills to enable them to make positive steps in facing their challenges and stabilising their lives.’
But last Wednesday Marshall, of Shepherds Croft, appeared at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to three offences, two of which were committed less than two months before he received his Prince’s Trust award.
He admitted assaulting a man in Shepherds Croft, Melton, on September 16 and also pleaded guilty, jointly with Melton woman Natasha Pyecroft, to obstructing or hindering a person by throwing rocks and spraying water from a garden hose while that person was giving assistance to a person employed by Melton Fire and Rescue Station while they were responding to emergency circumstances.
Marshall also pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards a man in Melton’s Market Place on November 27.
He was made subject of a one-year community order, ordered to pay £150 compensation and fined £50.
Pyecroft (27), of Shepherds Croft, who also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in Shepherds Croft on September 16, was fined £100, ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
A spokeswoman for the Prince’s Trust said it wasn’t aware of the charges facing Marshall throughout its awards nomination process.
She added: “Marcus was nominated for our Breakthrough Award which recognises young people who have made positive steps in facing challenges and stabilising their lives. While we do not condone Marcus’ actions, we would still be willing to support him in future, as we would any young person who wants to get their life on track.”
l For more about the Prince’s Trust and how it helps to change young people’s lives visit www.princes-trust.org.uk