Charles Howeson

The sexual assaults were said to have taken place in a number of places including aboard a warship

A former senior naval officer who committed a string of indecent assaults in the 1980s and 90s – including one on a warship – has been jailed.

Ex-Lt Cdr Charles Howeson, 68, from Plymouth, was last year found guilty of 10 charges against eight men.

He had denied using his position of authority to grope young boys and men on board frigate HMS Cleopatra while he was second in command.

At Bristol Crown Court, he was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

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Howeson, of Craigie Drive, Plymouth, intends to appeal against his convictions.

During the trial last year, the court heard Howeson used his position of authority in the Royal Navy and in the Plymouth Area Groundwork Trust charity to commit the offences.

Another jury failed to reach verdicts on two outstanding charges against a ninth complainant last week.

Judge Mark Horton adjourned sentencing after hearing from Daniel Janner QC, defending, that Howeson had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and was due to begin chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

‘Psychological harm’

Det Sgt Susanne Lee, of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Abuse Investigation Team, welcomed the sentence.

“The offences, which consisted of premeditated sexual assaults on young men, has caused psychological harm to them for many years afterwards, affecting relationships and contributing towards drug and alcohol addictions, and depression.

“We wish to say thank you to those victims for coming forward and for being brave throughout this process,” she said.

Howeson held high profile business positions including with the Consumer Council for Water and First Great Western Trains and was lieutenant commander on HMS Cleopatra.


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