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 Crosby 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 Association 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 our specialist child abuse team. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.