Phythian (pictured with Benedict Cumberbatch) and her Taekwondo 'master' husband Victor Marke, 59, were jointly charged with 14 historical counts of sexual activity with a girl
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Doctor Strange actress Zara Phythian has been placed in isolation at the notorious Foston Hall prison ‘for her own safety’, after being sentenced to eight years for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. 

Phythian, 36, has been sobbing down the phone to her father Andy and is now on an hourly watch after concerns were raised for her health, with her family believing she is set to appeal her sentence. 

Foston Hall, in Derbyshire, is knowns for its high levels of violence and self-harm, and is home to infamous female criminals, including Ian Huntley’s ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr and Karen Matthews, who famously staged her own daughter’s kidnapping.  

Phythian, who starred with Benedict Cumberbatch in the Marvel movie Doctor Strange, was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of plying her teenage victim with rum before making her perform a sex act on her partner.

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.

A family source said: ‘She’s in a really bad way and been kept in isolation for her own safety before being moved to a single cell.

Phythian (pictured with Benedict Cumberbatch) and her Taekwondo 'master' husband Victor Marke, 59, were jointly charged with 14 historical counts of sexual activity with a girl

Phythian (pictured with Benedict Cumberbatch) and her Taekwondo ‘master’ husband Victor Marke, 59, were jointly charged with 14 historical counts of sexual activity with a girl 

Phythian (pictured with Marke), 36, has been sobbing down the phone to her father Andy and is now on an hourly watch after concerns were raised for her health, with her family believing she is set to appeal her sentence

Phythian (pictured with Marke), 36, has been sobbing down the phone to her father Andy and is now on an hourly watch after concerns were raised for her health, with her family believing she is set to appeal her sentence 

Phythian is being checked on by guards every hour over concerns for her health since being sent to notorious prison Foston Hall, in Derbyshire

Phythian is being checked on by guards every hour over concerns for her health since being sent to notorious prison Foston Hall, in Derbyshire  

Foston Hall (pictured), in Derbyshire, is knowns for its high levels of violence and self-harm, and is home to infamous female criminals, including Ian Huntley's ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr and Karen Matthews, who famously staged her own daughter's kidnapping.

Foston Hall (pictured), in Derbyshire, is knowns for its high levels of violence and self-harm, and is home to infamous female criminals, including Ian Huntley’s ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr and Karen Matthews, who famously staged her own daughter’s kidnapping.

‘Guards are doing hourly checks on her because she has been close to a nervous breakdown.

‘Andy is desperate to see her but has to wait to get his visitors pass.

‘She’s been crying down the phone to him and is not in a good way.’

In February it was revealed Foston Hall faced criticism from inspectors after it was found that inmates had made 1,000 calls a month to Samaritans.

The prison was found to have high levels of violence and self-harm and two inmates took their own lives while serving sentences at the prison since 2019.

The victim of Phythian and Marke, who cannot be named, described the couple as ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ characters and said Marke threatened her while ordering her to film the abuse.

The couple, of Mansfield, Notts., were found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity, while Marke was convicted of four further charges of indecent assault against another teen.

After her sentence was passed, members of Phythian’s family shouted ‘we love you Zara’ to which she responded: ‘I’m innocent, I love you all.’

Earlier, Marke could be heard sobbing uncontrollably as he arrived into the court room to hear his fate. 

Sentencing, Judge Mark Watson said: ‘It has been said that both of you present as impressive individuals, each with a long list of accomplishment.

‘You, Victor Marke, were somebody your students looked up to. You Zara Marke were also someone that was looked up to by those you taught.

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

 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

‘Most people have held you in high esteem. That is why you were able to groom the victims in this case and get away with it for so long.

‘You groomed her and there was a significant disparity in your ages.

‘Both of you exposed her to sex acts. You showed her how you liked it and she described it as a ‘very advanced, dirty, naughty side’.

‘She said ‘God I’ve done everything and I’m not even 16 yet.’

‘At the time she was already vulnerable, in the sense she was young and had not gone through puberty.

‘Much of the sexual behaviour was video recorded.

‘Victor Marke, I describe you as the driving force behind the abuse. The sex act that did take place would end when you had fulfilled your needs.

‘You were also the older part and occupied a higher status in the world of martial arts.

Hollywood actress Zara Phythian, 36, (with spouse Victor Marke arriving at court on May 3)

Hollywood actress Zara Phythian, 36, (with spouse Victor Marke arriving at court on May 3)

‘Both you and Zara Marke were immersed in that regime, everyone was all too aware of the pecking order – you were at the top.

‘Each of you shares responsibility. Your offending involved multiple types of sex acts and more importantly you offended together.

‘I have to deal with you both for a course of offending that lasted three years. I do take account of your good character but this may be of limiting value.

‘There will be no chance for either of you to see the other, which will cause some distress. ‘ 

Addressing Phythian, the judge said: ‘The sentence in your case will be shorter.

‘There was one victim and you were younger at the time and I do not view you as the driving force behind this.

‘You were besotted with Victor Marke. I am in no doubt your deviance was shaped by him.

‘You had been the focus of his attentions. Your relationship started at a time when you were young.

‘None of this excuses what you did, you may have done them to fulfill Victor Marke’s urges but you still chose to play your part. ‘

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