Residents Revolt Over Paedophile
Furious neighbours led a revolt to kick paedophile Derek Williams off their estate yesterday after cops offered the child porn pervert a safe house.
In a new twist to the prison sentence scandal, Wales on Sunday can reveal North Wales Police wanted to move him and his family into a secret address over fears he would be attacked. The depraved father-of-two was controversially spared jail after admitting downloading 180 sexual images of children onto his computer.
Williams, 46, walked free from Mold Crown Court into the full glare of national publicity on Thursday after Judge John Rogers gave him a suspended six-month jail term following advice from Home Secretary John Reid to use prisons sparingly amid Britain’s overcrowding crisis.
Last night, the revelation that taxpayers’ cash would have been used to protect the pervert from vigilantes was blasted as a “shocking waste of public money”.
Williams – who has a previous conviction for violent offences – has refused to leave his home. But worried residents yesterday pushed ahead to get him booted out of his council house on the Penygwndwn estate, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Williams lives at the two-bedroom property with his two sons, aged 15 months and four, and his Dutch wife Ingrid. Locals hope a petition will force Gwynedd Council to evict the family from their home, which is next to a children’s playground and yards from Ysgol Manod primary school.
On Friday, housing chiefs received a number of complaints arguing that Williams poses a risk to children. He insists he’s not a paedophile and is no danger to the community – he claims he only admitted to the charges because he wanted the nightmare to be over.
Yesterday, as patrols were stepped up, a North Wales Police spokesman said: “Mr Williams has been offered a safe house but he has refused this and has decided to stay in the area. A community impact assessment document has been compiled by us. This will be reviewed as time goes by.
“We are closely monitoring the situation. We monitored the situation in the area on Friday night and this morning but there have been no repercussions. Officers are driving around the area in patrol cars and there have been foot patrols.”
The safe house offer was blasted by local Plaid Cymru councillor Linda Ann Jones.
The housing portfolio holder for Gwynedd Council said: “It’s shocking that Williams has been offered a safe house at the taxpayers’ expense. What a waste of money. He should have gone to prison.
“However, I believe Williams should take the police’s advice and move out the area for the sake of other children in the community.
“I have received a number of complaints from residents on the Penygwndwn estate who want Williams moved. The council has also received a number of calls. People are worried for their own children and want him out.”
Housing chiefs will meet this week to discuss the case and say Williams could be evicted within days. It is thought the council is looking to move him to an area where there are fewer families with young children.
Coun Jones said: “The council is currently checking its legal position. As a council we have an obligation to protect children at all times and other people’s security. We are taking these complaints seriously.
“You can’t have a paedophile living on the estate. It’s horrible that people are worried enough to contact us and start a petition. There are enough worries in the world to worry about other than a paedophile living on your doorstep.”
Williams’ parents Hilary and Eric – former chairman of the Penygwndwn Tenants’ Association – declined to comment on their son’s court case.
However, Williams’ younger brother Elfed, 38, said: “The police said if he wanted they could find somewhere safe but he won’t be moving. Derek can look after himself – he’s an expert in martial arts and boxing.”
His comments come as locals struggle to understand why Williams has been allowed to return home to live with his children after being ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.
Gwynedd Council declined to comment on whether its social services team would be intervening. A council spokesman said: “Our primary concern is the welfare and safety of children throughout the county. We cannot discuss individual cases.”