Former Choirmaster Who Sexually Assaulted 14 Boys As Young As 7 Jailed For 12 Years

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Former church organist and choirmaster 71 year old Richard Owen was found guilty of sexually assaulting 14 boys over a period of 28 years.

Owen preyed on the young boys whilst working at various churches in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

He would smack and cane the children in his car, a church vestry and on camping trips during sexually charged corporal punishment beatings.

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Chester Crown Court heard from the widow of a victim who took his own life shortly after revealing the abuse he had suffered.

The Mail Online reports: Owen, from Hale near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, admitted 27 sexual assault charges between 1970 and 1998 on boys as young as seven.

The abuse lasted over a 28-year period, with one of his victims ending his own life in 2019 following years of trauma, keeping the abuse secret.

The victim was just eleven at the time and had decided to keep silent about his experience until 2019 when he confided in his wife.

Speaking at Chester Crown Court, his widow said that he had been so distressed in sharing his ‘secret’ that he could barely breath.

Just two weeks after disclosing the abuse he took his own life, aged 39.

Speaking at the two-day sentencing hearing, the victim’s widow read out a statement on behalf of her dead husband.

It read: ‘He took his own life just two weeks after confiding to me about the abuse he had suffered.

He said it was a secret he had been carrying for 30 years and he was sobbing so much he was hardly able to breathe.’

She said the impact of Owen’s crimes could be seen in the fact that her husband, who was a music teacher and head of a prep school in Berkshire, could not tell his own story.