Sentencing of Christopher Howarth
A spokesperson for the Diocese said today:
“The Diocese of Chichester welcomes this sentence. While no term of imprisonment can ever fully remove the harm caused by abuse, we hope that the victims in this case feel that the Court has recognised the seriousness of Chris Howarth’s offences.
"Diocesan staff have been supporting the victims over the past year and throughout the trial and we want to place on record our admiration and gratitude for their tremendous courage and determination.
"Chris Howarth was a well-known and much-loved figure throughout Uckfield and many people will find it extremely difficult to comprehend that he could have abused children.
"Both victims knew this and nevertheless came forward to give their account. The verdict of the jury and today’s sentence is a vindication of their courage, and a reminder that victims’ reports must always be taken seriously, regardless of the status or respectability of the accused”.