North West Wales

Paedophile Derek Williams faces jail for second time

Derek Williams Image copyright Peter Byrne/PA
Image caption Derek Williams downloaded child and animal sex abuse images

A paedophile who was spared jail in 2007 because prisons were overcrowded has been told he faces a long sentence for downloading more abuse images.

Derek Williams, 53, of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, sparked a political row when he avoided prison.

He was jailed weeks later after failing to register as a sex offender in time.

On Friday, he was found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court of 15 charges of downloading child sex abuse images. He admitted downloading bestiality images.

Williams avoided prison in February 2007 when a judge said he had to "bear in mind" the request of the then Home Secretary John Reid to use prison sparingly to ease overcrowding.

He was given a six-month term of imprisonment suspended for two years after he had admitted downloading pornographic pictures of children.

It provoked widespread debate and led to statements being made by Mr Reid and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Williams was even quoted on national television as saying: "Yes, I am lucky to be out, but you cannot blame the judge for what he has done. His hands are tied. He was only doing his job."


But within weeks Williams was jailed for eight months - the original sentence and two extra months - for failing to register as sex offender within three days.

He claimed no-one had told him about the three-day rule and that he had been besieged by the press.

Seven years on, the court heard Williams was found to possess 4,514 indecent still images of child abuse "of varying degrees".

Williams had denied downloading the child abuse images but admitted eight charges of accessing images of extreme pornography involving animals.

The prosecution said 200 still images and 10,251 videos of bestiality had been found.

Williams told the court: "I'm a reformed character."

The jury convicted him after considering the case for an hour and 45 minutes.

Williams was bailed for pre-sentence reports but Recorder Timothy Petts warned him to be "under no illusion" that he faced jail.

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