Prison After Sex Register Failure
A paedophile who avoided jail after the Home Secretary requested judges use prison sparingly, has been jailed for failing to register as a sex offender.
Derek Williams, of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, received a suspended sentence in January after admitting downloading pornographic pictures of children.
The judge in the case had said he must “bear in mind” John Reid’s request – made to ease prison overcrowding. Williams, 46, was jailed for eight months at Mold Crown Court on Thursday. He was given the original six-month suspended sentence and an additional two months for the failure to register as a sex offender.
Judge John Rogers QC, presiding over the original case, warned Williams that when he was released he would have to register immediately as a sex offender.
On Thursday, the same judge said: “On the 25th of January of this year I explained to you that the purpose of the sexual offender’s register is to protect the public, so that the police have a record of where any sex offender is living. I also warned you that if you failed to do so, almost inevitably you would face imprisonment. You have failed to do so and a prison sentence now is inevitable.”
Tom Morgan Jones, prosecuting, had told the court that a police inspector went to the defendant’s home the day after the original hearing at Mold Crown Court and warned him of the need to register within three days.
But Williams claimed no one had told him about the three day rule. He said he had been besieged by the press and went to register at Dolgellau on 29 January, not realising he was too late.
Peter Moss, defending, argued that his client should not be jailed and told the court: “There are breaches and there are breaches”. He said the aim was to ensure the police knew the addresses of people who were required to register and in Williams’ case, the police knew because they had been at his home. Mr Moss added: “He was arrested when he attempted to register, albeit something like 18 hours late.”
Williams was originally given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years after he admitted 10 counts of downloading pornographic pictures of children.
The judge said he had to take into consideration a Home Office request to jail only the most serious offenders because of the problem of prison overcrowding. It provoked widespread debate and led to statements being made by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.