By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 04 Mar 2021 • 23:02
Sex Abuse Priest Died in Custody of ‘Natural Causes’.
CHURCH of England priest, Reverend Christopher Howarth, a former teacher who was jailed for sexually abusing two young boys, died in Brighton hospital on March 10 last year while in custody, and now a coroner has ruled that he died of natural causes.
The 72-year-old was convicted in 2015 of 26 offences against the boys who he met through his work at Holy Trinity Church in Uckfield and was serving a ten-year prison sentence at HMP Lewes.
Howarth had long-term health problems linked to his morbidly high body mass index, including type 2 diabetes, heart failure and chronic kidney disease, however, his wife said that the prison was to blame for his death due to her husband not being looked after properly.
Vivien Howarth said that her husband suffered from sleep apnoea and was critical of the prison service for not replacing a CPAP machine that apparently broke in August 2019.
She said: “It had stopped working completely and Chris was in a terrible state.
“Lewes Prison did not do anything about it. We went up to the Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead to get a replacement.” However, while in custody Mr Howarth, according to Prison and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), received the equivalent to care he would have otherwise received in the community.
Howarth’s crimes were described as having a “devastating effect” on his victims, the Crown Prosecution Service’s Jaswant Narwal said when he was sentenced.
“He was a man they trusted as a lay priest and a former deputy headmaster and he abused that trust in the most appalling way.”
Det Con Amy Green said in 2015: “He was their teacher, he was their priest, he was their family friend and he subjected them to longstanding sexual abuse.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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