Anthony Marsden not guilty of Musgrave Gardens after ‘horrible’ prison ordeal

He spent the majority of this time in Forest Bank prison. At Bolton Crown Court on Friday, the prosecution offered no evidence and told judge Elliot Knopf that they could not be certain of a conviction. The prosecution added that it could not be ruled out that the fire had started accidentally and judge Knopf recorded a not guilty verdict. Speaking after the verdict, Mr Marsden, said: “To be honest with you, it still doesn’t feel real. “It felt horrible when I was arrested for that charge, you can get something like 14 years, I was really scared.” After he was released, Mr Marsden had to stay at a bail hostel in Wigan, away from his family and friends. He spoke of his time in prison and what that was like. He said: “It was horrible. They treated me like I was a murderer, the officers and the people in there, they were just horrible. “I was only allowed out of my cell for three hours a day. It was horrible, the first two weeks I was there I just slept all the way through it, they gave me a lot of sleeping tablets. “I didn’t eat anything, I lost four stone in two weeks. “When they put me in the main block of the prison, I kept getting robbed, I had my cigarettes taken by other prisoners.” He also said that the ‘legal high’ Spice is ‘everywhere in prison’. Speaking about what got him through the experience, Mr Marsden said: “My family coming to see me every day on visits. “If I didn’t have them, I don’t think I would be talking to you now.” He added that while for some of the prisoners, who had been there a long time, life at the prison was like ‘Pontins’ it was hard for him to cope as he was new.Mr Marsden is currently living with his sister, Louise Marsden, in Bolton.Miss Marsden said: “I knew he was not guilty from the start, this morning it was great to have it all over and done with.“It’s been traumatising. It’s been tough for us all, we’re a close knit family. We’ve been driving to see him every day.”