Wales

Cardiff man helped on-the-run paedophile dad hide in wall

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Media captionThe moment police find Brian Ward hiding in wall

A man who helped his paedophile father hide has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Joseph Ward, 20, from Cardiff, admitted assisting an offender and was sentenced to eight months in a young offenders institution, suspended for a year.

His father, Brian Ward, 62, disappeared during his trial in 2013 and was convicted in his absence of gross indecency with a child under 16.

He was caught hiding in a fake wall in the house where his son was staying.

Officers found Brian Ward's hiding place after searching behind a bedroom mirror in December 2018.

A £2,000 reward was offered for information on his location after being described as one of the UK's most wanted men.

Cardiff Crown Court was told Joseph Ward had been "sofa-surfing" at his uncle's flat when Brian Ward turned up.

Brian Ward told his son he was going to hand himself in the next day and had come to say his goodbyes.

Early the next morning, police arrived at the flat and Joseph Ward answered the door and told the officers his father was not there.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Police found Brian Ward hiding behind a mirror

But police could hear furniture being moved and threatened to force entry, so he opened the door.

When the flat was searched the police found a loose mirror covering a hole in a wall, with Brian Ward inside.

Sentencing Joseph Ward, Judge Neil Bidder said Brian Ward's criminal behaviour and absconding was "devastating" and had "ripped the family apart" and a pre-sentence report showed how badly Joseph Ward had been affected.

Judge Bidder said Brian Ward put his son in a predicament by arriving at the flat "without warning" and Joseph Ward did not know about the hole, nor helped make it.

The judge told him: "I hope you will stay out of trouble permanently."

Joesph Ward, visibly emotional, nodded and said he would.

A curfew was also imposed and he will wear an electronic tag.

In 2013 Brian Ward, of Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taff, was found guilty of gross indecency with a child under 16 and four counts of indecent assault on a female.

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