June 2018

Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for sexually abusing young men.

Last year the 68-year-old was convicted of 10 indecent assaults against eight young men in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today in the same court, the judge ordered him to pay £50,000 in costs.

He will also be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life.

June 2018

Sex molester has resigned his Royal Navy commission

Serial sex offender Charles Howeson has resigned his honorary commission in the Royal Naval Reserves.

The 68-year-old, who joined the service as a cadet at the age of 17, rose to the rank of Commander before retiring in 1991.

The prominent businessman abused his rank as second-in command of HMS Cleopatra to indecently touch a rating in 1985, a jury concluded last December.

The Royal Navy was set to review his status as an honorary captain in the Royal Naval Reserves – which had been awarded on his retirement.

But the service revealed today that he resigned his commission before any decision was made.

A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Mr Howeson resigned from his commission as an Honorary Officer before his case was reviewed by the Naval Service.

“We respect the decision of the court and the bravery of the individuals coming forward.”

Howeson has now been acquitted at Bristol Crown Court of the attempted buggery of a boy aged 14 or 15 in Crownhill in 1988. The jury also acquitted him of the alternative count of indecent assault.

During the first trial Vice Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson took to the stand to say how Howeson had been a great help to him after leaving the navy with charitable support and his role in training the Royal Navy Reserves.

The latest trial heard a string of reports praising Howeson in the 1980s and 1990s.

But the jury also heard that two young men from the junior ranks made complaints that he had touched them appropriately on board ships.

The allegations were investigated by the Royal Navy’s internal police force and it was recommended that Howeson be warned about his behaviour.

Howeson, who denied the allegations in interview at the time, said he was never warned. He went on to be promoted to the rank of Commander – much to the disgust of one of the Navy men who made a complaint.

He is still entitled to use that title as a retired officer.

Howeson has already given up the honorary doctorate he received from the University of Plymouth in 2009.