Vile Bedfordshire paedophile dubbed worst child sex offender in police force's history gets 20 years in jail

A vile 46-year-old man from Cricksands in Bedfordshire will spend more than 20 years in prison after subjecting young children to sexual abuse on numerous occasions spanning a number of years.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 10:51 am
Vile Craig Howe

Craig Howe, of Luffenham Place, Cricksands, pleaded guilty to a number of child sexual offences at an earlier court appearance on 10 May and was handed his prison sentence yesterday (Wednesday) at Luton Crown Court.Officers arrested Howe on 19 March after receiving information that he had been communicating with people on a social media platform and talking specifically about children in a sexual nature.His phone and laptop were seized and a number of indecent images of children were discovered.Howe was jailed for a number of child sexual offences, including the rape and assault of a child, sexually exploiting a child and making and distributing indecent images of children.He was given a sentence of 29 years – 21 years in prison and an extended licence period of eight years.Detective Constable Kerry Smith from the Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team (ICAIT), who investigated the case, said: “This man is probably the worst child sex offender we have ever come across. This was an extremely vile and shocking case involving a level of offending rarely encountered by our team.“From looking at his devices, the sadistic conversations he was having with other sick individuals contained some extremely graphic descriptions and when we saw the images, it confirmed that the chat wasn’t all fantasy.“This man appeared to be a respectable man and held down a good job with a lot of authority. It goes to show that people aren’t always as they seem and that there are a lot of individuals out there with a dark side and horrifying secrets.“Although this jail sentence can’t reverse the damage Howe has done to his victims, at least he no longer poses a danger to children.”

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Howe is a depraved sexual predator who subjected young children to sickening sexual abuse and then shared images of his crimes with other vile offenders.

“This case shows starkly that behind every indecent image is a real victim suffering abuse that is never their fault, who must be reassured that it’s never too late to speak out and get support.

“Child protection is all of our responsibility and anyone concerned about a young person or someone viewing images of abuse can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.”

The full list of charges were:

- One count of the rape of a child under 13

- Five counts of assault by penetration of a child under 13

- One count of causing a child under 13 to engage in a sexual activity

- Two counts of causing sexual exploitation of a child

- One count of possession of a paedophile manual

- One count of distributing indecent images of children

- Three counts of making indecent images of children

You can report concerns around child sexual abuse by calling police on 101.

Parents can visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful resources to help prevent child sexual abuse.