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Video Transcript

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Presumed Guilty

I'm Marlon Noble, and I'm 30 years old.

I live around Geraldton.

I'm really from Carnarvon, but.

NARRATOR: At age 30, Marlon Noble is just like most guys.

I took my bike out today, into Greenough. My bike died on me.

My bike, you know, died on me.

I not happy today. I not happy man.


My nickname, boys, I'll tell you...

You better not laugh at this.

I Evel Knievel. (LAUGHS)

But Marlon's life has not always been so carefree.

At the age of three, he suffered from a bad bout of meningitis that left him mentally impaired.

But his disability rarely got him down.

Being a part of a large family, Marlon lived a happy childhood.


Then, at the age of 19, Marlon's life took a drastic turn for the worse.

He was charged with sexual abuse of two girls.

And one had an intellectual disability

and the other didn't, and they were Aboriginal girls.

I mean, friends of the whole family, friends of the family.

From the very beginning, Marlon denied doing anything wrong.

But due to his disability, he was deemed unfit to stand trial.

That left him in a legal grey area.

The courts ruled him ineligible for full-time psychiatric care

but too much of a risk to the community to be released.

So Marlon was jailed indefinitely.

I don't like it in jail. I don't like it in there.

Scary place.

You got no families in there, no brothers or sisters to talk to.

You're on your own. You're on your own.

After a full decade behind bars, fresh evidence emerged.

Ida Curtois, who'd taken Marlon under her wing after the death of his parents, discovered major holes in the evidence against him.

Having spoken recently to the girls and their mother.....the mother didn't even know that they were complainants to any charges.

And she vehemently says nothing happened, and the girls say nothing happened.

I'm not guilty.

I didn't do anything with that girl.

I done nothing with that girl.

They're accusing me. I'm not guilty.

After a series of damning headlines,

all charges against Marlon were dropped and Marlon was released.

It was a day he'll never forget.


I hit that beach...I got out of jail, man.

I dived into that water.

Top of the water. That's my name on it. I dived in.

Oh, beautiful, brother.

It's a lovely sunny day, lovely beach, lovely birds, and you smell that lovely sea.

But Marlon's is a strange kind of freedom.

Although still never convicted of a crime, he remains under 24-hour supervision.

Well, he's got to be with a support worker all the time.

He's got to be in line of sight all the time.

For someone that hasn't been convicted. Why?

Why does he has to be in the line of sight,

when you haven't been convicted with anything?

I don't think Marlon's guilty at all, not a hope in hell.

He is still seen as a convicted prisoner who committed horrendous crimes

and who has an intellectual disability.

I'm not a free man yet for a little while.

I can't walk down the street by myself.

I can't walk down there by myself.

I can't do it. I can't have a coffee for myself. I can't have lunch for myself.

They're wrong. They hurt me.

Never convicted but never fully freed,

Marlon's case highlights the inequalities

that still exist within our legal system for people with disabilities.

10 years in jail without charge is...just not on. It's just not on.

It's absolutely disgusting.

IDA: Round Australia, there are a huge amount of people

in exactly the same position as Marlon.

People are imprisoned and never been found guilty of a crime.

There's not even any compensation for him.

Because what they did was lawful.

And that's the scariest bit, I think.

That that law's still there and it's still happening.

And people are still being imprisoned.