A FORMER world boxing champion has lost his appeal against a conviction for assault.

Terry Marsh, 59, of Lee Chapel Lane, Langdon Hills, was convicted at Southend Magistrates’ Court on May 10.

The conviction related to the assault of the presiding officer at a Basildon polling station during the 2017 local elections.

The former champ kneed Carl Sayonas in the groin after he was prevented from removing his ballot paper at a polling station in Langdon Hills during the county elections.

Mr Marsh, who retired as the undefeated world lightweight champion in 1987, challenged his conviction at Basildon Crown Court on Monday but a judge and two magistrates upheld the decision.

On conviction, he was ordered to pay a £600 fine, £100 compensation and £680 in costs and surcharges.

The incident escalated after Mr Sayonas believed it was an offence to remove the ballot paper from the polling station and so would not let Mr Marsh leave with it in his possession.

Because he was in a rush to get to a hospital appointment, Mr Marsh claims he resorted to “reasonable force” to extract himself from the situation.

However the judge disagreed and said it was not reasonable force and he should have instead called the police because he was being unlawfully detained.

Speaking after the hearing, he said: “I am disappointed it didn’t go my way but there is a bigger picture.

“I’ve actually been able to prove that you are able to take your ballot paper home.

“I was initially charged with electoral fraud but they had to drop it because it is not an offence to take it home so in that respect it is a small victory.

“The judge told me I should have called the police when I was being held against my will - the point is the court recognised I was being detained unlawfully but they felt my response was also unlawful.

“He was able to get up and chase me out to my car so I don’t see how because he wasn’t debilitated in any way.”

Mr Marsh is a campaigner for the inclusion of a None of the Above box on ballot papers and even changed his name by deed poll to “none of the Above X” before standing in a series of Basildon elections.

He added: “I used reasonable force to extract myself from a technical assault after just trying to exercise my democratic right. Taking the paper home is the only true way to protest the vote as spoiling it just counts as uncertain. Because I was a boxer, a punch could’ve been seen as excessive.”