‘Arrogant’ scout master jailed after sexually abusing two boys
A scout master was jailed today for sexually abusing two boys – one who he plied with whisky and another molested while he was sleeping.
Gavin Owen, who had volunteered at his Crosby scout group in Merseyside for more than a decade, claimed sexual activity was consensual.
But the 38-year-old has been jailed for four and a half years after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual assault.
Unknown to the jury, Owen, of Formby, was already awaiting sentence after admitting possessing thousands of indecent child porn images and sick DVDs – including a twisted picture of a baby girl.
His home was raided in December 2013 after police received information he bought the DVDs from a Canadian website
His laptop and hard drives were seized and found to contain 940 Category A images – the most serious category – some 2,315 Category B and the rest – 10,707 – the least serious, Category C.
During his four-day trial the court heard Owen had abused both youths after inviting them round to his home on separate occasions.
Prosecutors said the 37-year-old had groomed one of them over a long time and plied him with whiskey before assaulting him.
Charlotte Atherton, prosecuting, said the boy, who was 17 at the time, was particularly vulnerable, which Owen knew.
Owen invited him to a “sleep over” and began drinking Jack Daniels whiskey and also gave several glasses to the boy, who became “clearly affected”.
Miss Atherton said: “At bedtime they went upstairs and the boy said he had no choice on where to sleep and the only place was in the room with the defendant on the defendant’s bed alongside him.”
She said that while there Owen sexually abused him and although the boy, who was embarrassed, did not then reveal what had happened, he had not wanted it to happen and Owen knew that.
The second incident happened nine months later and involved an 18-year-old friend of the first victim.
Owen invited him to his home for lunch and then upstairs to see his sound system.
It was a hot day and Owen said he had a fan in his room so the youth went in and relaxed on the bed and fell asleep. He awoke to find Owen molesting him.
That youth later texted the other boy, who then revealed what had happened to him, and after he told his mother the police were notified.
Owen, an electrician, was suspended by the Scout Association when the allegations came to light last August.
Miss Atherton said one of the victims had suffered “severe psychological harm”.
The other referred to having suffered depression, flashbacks and having lost his self esteem.
Owen had no previous convictions.
Jeremy Rawson, defending, said his client was a man of previous good character and this case had a devastating impact on him and his family.
He said: “He has ruined his life. He’s damaged the lives of two young men who treated him as a friend. He’s bitterly remorseful.”
However, Judge Denis Watson, QC, said this was difficult to accept when Owen had subjected his victims to a trial and consistently denied any wrongdoing.
He said: “It appears he wants to have his cake and eat it, run a trial on the basis it was consensual, hope a jury will accept his evidence and when they don’t, back another horse and say sorry.
“It doesn’t wash.”
Jailing Owen while handing him an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order and telling him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register, Judge Watson remarked on how he had been warned in the past about what was appropriate behaviour and showed “no remorse”.
He said: “There seems to be something of a flaw in your character, bordering on arrogance, that you will do what you want and think the rules do not apply to you.”
Scout leader who sexually molested teenage boys also admitted having thousands of child abuse images