Shoeburyness man jailed for historic child sex abuse

A man has been jailed for child sex abuse offences dating back 58 years.

Charles Brown, 76, of Hogarth Drive, Shoeburyness, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Friday May 24, where he was sentenced to 31 months and three weeks imprisonment after being convicted of indecent assaults against three young girls.

The sentencing concludes a five-year investigation by Essex Police’s Quest Team, who investigate sexual offence reports where the victim was a child at the time of the offence but is now an adult.

Sergeant Rachel Mitchell, officer in the case, said: “We received a report in 2019 that Charles Brown had assaulted young girls between 1966 and 1994 on multiple occasions.

“With all Quest investigations, the first thing our detectives do is to get an account from the victim.

“We appreciate that this is traumatic for people, to go over events which they may have buried for years and not told anyone.

“However, often as there is no forensic evidence available, this account from the victim is crucial and builds the foundation for our investigation to continue.”

After these accounts were taken from the victims, Brown was arrested at his home address. He refused to comment on all questions whilst in custody.

Detectives worked with the Crown Prosecution Service to charge Brown with eight counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

Following a week-long trial at Basildon Crown Court, Brown was found guilty of five counts on November 14 2023.

The jury found him not guilty on three counts.

Sergeant Rachel Mitchell added: “Brown’s conviction was as a direct result of the bravery of those survivors, who carried themselves with patience and dignity throughout a really challenging, long investigation.”

In a victim impact statement, one of the survivors said: “Charles Brown chose to touch and claw at my young, undeveloped body for his own gratification.

“He felt no shame, gave no consideration to the impact he would have on me and still chooses not to admit any guilt, as such further abusing me but not physically anymore, now mentally.

“I will never forgive him for making me doubt my own self-worth.

“…He knows what he has done and he knows I am telling the truth. He has to live with his own demons as I continue to live with mine.

“If he had pleaded guilty in May last year, he could have saved us all further anguish, but instead he was and is content to continue our suffering, showing us no remorse for what he has done.”

Detective Superintendent Neil Pudney, Head of Investigations for Essex Police’s Crime and Public Protection command, said: “The conviction of Charles Brown marked the most historic public protection investigation that we have secured a conviction for.

“The results achieved by our Quest team and other teams across our Crime and Public Protection Unit prove that we are not restricted by forensic opportunities and there is no time limit when it comes to investigating sexual offences.”

Brown will remain on the sex offenders register for life.

*Support is there for anyone affected by rape and sexual abuse, and no victim or survivor is alone.

Synergy Essex provides specialist support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse of all ages and all genders across Essex.

Synergy Essex is a partnership of rape and sexual abuse centres in Essex: CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), SERICC Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service and Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SOS Rape Crisis). Synergy Essex is independent from the police and provides support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.

Victims and survivors can self-refer, or be referred by a parent, partner, friend or professional and can access specialist emotional support, counselling and advocacy. For victims and survivors who report to the police, Synergy Essex provides an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, providing support throughout the criminal justice process.

For more information visit the Synergy Essex website: https://synergyessex.org.uk/