Scoutmaster Gavin Owen jailed for four and a half years after abusing two teenage boys

The mum of a vulnerable teenager who was preyed upon by his scout leader today told how she felt “devastated” at not spotting his sick intentions. Gavin Owen, 38, was jailed for four and a half years today after abusing two teenage boys and being found with a grim haul of child porn. He had volunteered at his rosby scout group for more than a decade and worked with in schools with disadvantaged youngsters. The mum of his then 17-year-old victim, whom Owen plied with whiskey before sexually assaulting, today branded him a “predator”. The teenager, who cannot be named, was “particularly vulnerable” when he was befriended by his attacker, jurors heard. His mum told the EHO today: “He used his position in the community to find young boys. “I thought he was a respectable adult; a scout leader who worked in schools with disadvantaged children, and used to dealing with young children. I thought he was a good person. “In truth, he knew my son was vulnerable and he was biding his time. “As a mum, I am devastated to think that I didn’t see through it. I feel that not only did he groom my son, he also groomed me.” Owen was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court. His second victim, an 18-year-old friend of the first victim, was also molested at Owen’s home in Heathfield Close, Formby. Owen, an electrician by trade, was suspended by the Scout Association when the allegations came to light last August and has now been dismissed. A spokesman said today: “The Scout Association condemns the actions of Owen. “The Scout ssociation has co-operated fully with the statutory agencies in support of their investigation. “Owen was suspended from any form of contact with the movement as soon as the initial allegation was reported. We can confirm that he will never again be allowed to work within the Scout movement. “The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to strict guidelines outlined in the ‘Young People First’ Code of Good Practice.” Verisona Law have considerable experience in dealing with cases of abuse in the Scouts and have successfully secured damages for individuals including those involved in the high profile case of Nicholas Thorpe, a Scoutmaster, who was convicted in 2012 in relation offences against children. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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