'Vile' Chicksands security guard jailed after raping and abusing young children
PUBLISHED: 12:03 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 10 October 2019
A security guard at the Chicksands military base has been described as the "worst child sex offender" Bedfordshire Police has ever come across after being jailed yesterday for more than 20 years for seven separate offences - including raping a young child.
Craig Howe - of Luffenham Place in Chicksands and who was a serving member of the Joint Intelligence Training Group - was sentenced to 21 years in prison with an extended licence period of eight years after pleading guilty to a whole host of child sexual offences spanning a number of years, with five counts of assault by penetration of a child under 13 among them.
Officers arrested the 46-year-old on March 19 after receiving information he had been communicating with people on a social media platform and talking specifically about children in a sexual manner.
His phone and laptop were seized and a number of indecent images of children were discovered, as well as a 'paedophile manual'.
The full list of charges brought against Howe 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, and three counts of making indecent images of children.
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Appearing at Luton Crown Court on May 10, Howe pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Detective Constable Kerry Smith from the force's Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, 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 extremely graphic descriptions and when we saw the images, it confirmed the chat wasn't all fantasy.
"Howe 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."
You can report concerns around child sexual abuse by calling police on 101.
Parents can visit parentsprotect.co.uk, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful resources to help prevent child sexual abuse.