Instructor jailed over sex abuse

Child abuse

02.12.2008

A former outdoor pursuits instructor has been jailed for three years for sex attacks on two boys and three girls. Howard Andrews, 45, from Twineham, West Sussex, was found guilty of one count of indecency and seven other indecent assaults at Exeter Crown Court. One of Andrews' victims was a girl aged eight. He was cleared of ten other sex crimes.

The offences were committed when Andrews worked at a residential school in the 1980s and 1990s. Andrews was cleared of a charge of rape, a serious sexual assault and eight other indecent assaults. He was found guilty of one charge of indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy and two charges of indecent assault on a 12-year-old girl at a school in Sussex where he worked with the children with outdoor activities.

In the late-1980s he ran the Marlin Leisure outward bound firm, taking young children on camping trips, and in the 1990s he went to work at a school in Surrey where he was involved in Duke of Edinburgh Awards instruction.

The jury found Andrews guilty of two charges of indecent assault on an eight-year-old girl during a camping trip to Dorset, one charge of indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy during a walking holiday in the south west, and of another charge of indecency with a child. He was also convicted of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl during a camping trip to Switzerland.

On sentencing Andrews, Judge John Neligan told the court: "Because of the gross breach of trust there has to be an immediate custodial sentence. He added that one way or the other the children were in his care and almost without exception they said they had trusted and respected him."

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