Couple who knew Fred and Rose West and ran their local pub will be sentenced today for sexually abusing ten children
A paedophile and friend of Fred and Rose West has been jailed for life after a campaign of sexual abuse against TEN children.
Evil David Williams will serve a minimum 23 years after a judge described his perverted behaviour towards youngsters as ‘sick’.
The 57-year-old was led away from the dock to rapturous applause from his victims who had packed the public gallery with one shouting that he should “rot in hell.”
His wife Pauline, 52, who a judge said “aided and abetted” and “encouraged” her husband’s abuse, will serve a minimum 12 years with an extended four years on licence after also being convicted of several sexual assaults.
The historic offences were committed between 1991 and 2004 while the couple lived in both Gloucester and in Exeter, Devon.
For part of the time, the pair lived in Cromwell Road and David Williams had previously boasted of a friendship and connection to the Wests, who were locals at the Prince Albert pub he ran in Gloucester.
But what was described as the couple’s “façade of innocence” was blown open after a victim contacted police in 2013 to report an historic rape.
Several further victims were quickly identified by officers and after hearing harrowing evidence of rape, sexual assault and violence, the pair were found guilty of a string of charges after a six week trial at Exeter Crown Court.
David Williams of Bradninch, Devon, was convicted of ten rapes, 13 indecent assaults, five counts of gross indecency, two of cruelty, and one of sexual activity with a child.
Pauline Williams was found guilty of two rapes and five indecent assaults. They were found not guilty of eight other allegations involving two other complainants.
Sentencing them in Exeter today, Judge Erik Salomonsen said only a life sentence was appropriate for David Williams because of the danger he presents to children and the scale of his offending.
He said: “You were convicted by a jury of more than 30 offences involving ten children over 13 years.
“Your behaviour towards children was sick. You had no conscience in using young people for your perverted sexual pleasure.
“The police investigation was triggered by one complaint many years after you had raped her.
“The consequences of your actions had been lasting.”
The judge said David Williams maintained his “façade of innocence” by exercising “dominance and control” that meant the victims were not able to stop the offending or go to the police.
He said: “Some victims were reluctant to recall their childhood but we heard harrowing accounts of sexual and physical abuse and the psychological damage became apparent.
“You sought to use it as a weapon against them.
“The trauma suffered has had a lasting impact on their lives.”
Addressing Pauline Williams the judge said: “You aided and abetted your husband to rape young girls on several occasions. On one occasion you encouraged him to rape a victim so that she might become pregnant following your third miscarriage.
“You encouraged him and made jokes about what was happening.
“One victim said you were brainwashed by him and after a time you became as bad as him. Another described you as evil.”
The judge, who made short reference to the couple’s friendship with Rose and Fred West during the sentencing, also read several victim impact statements.
One victim said: “I would just like the tears and nightmares to stop. I live in fear of being kidnapped or being raped again.”
Another said: “There is not a day that goes by I don’t think of the violence and abuse. My innocence was taken from me and never got it back.”
A further victim said: “I struggle to believe my life is worth living.”
Mitigating for Pauline Williams, Joss Ticehurst said: “She was very much in the shadow of David Williams.
He accepted she was responsible for “appalling behaviour” but urged the judge to recognise the difference between her role which he said was mainly one of “encouragement” rather than carrying out physical acts.
He said: “It was a difficult time for Pauline Williams. I don’t ask for pity but she was in a difficult mental state after the loss of her third child at the time.
“While his behaviour was going on she was laughing and passing comment and she did not stop it and ought to have done. Though she was emboldening him, she was not the cause of what David Williams was doing.
“She was as much under his control as anybody else.”
David Williams was described as having such “complex health problems” that every day for him in custody will harder because of his disabilities.