Uckfield Community Tech College, Uckfield, East Sussex

Uckfield Community Tech College, Uckfield, East Sussex

Christopher Howarth: Sex abuse priest jailed for 10 years

A Church of England priest and former teacher who gave money to two boys he sexually abused has been jailed.

The Reverend Christopher Howarth, of Rocks Park Road, Uckfield, was found guilty of 26 offences against the boys, now aged 19 and 20.

The court heard he paid money to the boys in return for sexual gratification and told one of them he was “preparing” him for a girlfriend.

Howarth was jailed for 10 years at Lewes Crown Court on Friday.

The 68-year-old, who had admitted one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, was also ordered to be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

He was convicted of a further seven counts of sexual activity with a child which took place between 2004 and 2012 in the Uckfield area of East Sussex.

‘Longstanding abuse’

Det Con Amy Green, of Sussex Police said Howarth had come to know the pair when they “were very young” through his work at Holy Trinity Church in Uckfield.

She said he befriended them over several years before assaulting both of boys in his study at home and one of them at his office at Uckfield Community Technology College.

“The children in this case suffered longstanding and entrenched sexual abuse at the hands of the defendant,” said Jaswant Narwal, chief crown prosecutor for Crown Prosecution Service South East.

“He was a man they trusted as a lay priest and a former deputy headmaster and he abused that trust in the most appalling way.

“It is clear that the appalling abuse that these two young boys suffered has had a devastating effect on them both yet, despite that, they were determined to see Howarth brought to justice and both of them showed real courage in giving evidence at the trial.”

Howarth was an unpaid non-stipendiary priest until he was suspended by the Diocese of Chichester in December 2012.

He also taught at Uckfield Community Technology College until he retired in 2007.


BBC 02/10/15

Former priest and college deputy head accused of “preying” on two young boys over seven year period

A PRIEST and deputy headmaster at a community college “preyed” on two young boys for his “own sexual gratification” over a seven year period, a court has heard.

Christopher Howarth has appeared today before Hove Trial Centre accused of 20 counts of sexual activity with two boys between 2004 and 2011.

The 67-year-old is accused of engaging the teenage boys in sexual activity in return for up to £100 a time, computer games and mobile phone contracts.

Prosecutor Henrietta Paget said Mr Howarth had carried out “long-standing and entrenched sexual abuse” of the two boys.

The court heard that abuse was carried out in Mr Howarth’s study at his home in Rocks Park Road in Uckfield, in his school office, at a caravan Mr Howarth owned, in the car and on one occasion at the child’s home.

Mr Howarth is a former deputy headteacher at Uckfield Community Technology College and had served at at St Michael’s in Little Horsted, Holy Cross in Uckfield and St Margaret’s in Ifield

An all-women jury was sworn in at court today and they are expected to retire for their deliberations by Wednesday week.

The Argus 06/07/15