John Williams – Ystradgynlais
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Paedophile pretended to be a ghost when he abused young boys
A paedophile who pretended to be a ghost when he abused boys as young as six has had his “unduly lenient” jail term increased by top judges.
John Mark Williams “robbed” his two young victims of their childhood by making them play hide and seek while naked and abusing them.
The 50-year-old was jailed for five years at Swansea Crown Court on June 2 after he pleaded guilty to 16 charges of indecent assault.
But the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, referred his sentence to London’s Court of Appeal arguing it was far too lenient.
Three senior judges, sitting on Tuesday, agreed and increased Williams’ jail term to seven years.
Williams was aged under 18 when he abused his two male victims more than 30 years ago.
During his sentencing hearing earlier this year prosecutor Richard Ace said: “He got the boys to play hide and seek while naked and would pretend to be a ghost with a sheet on his head.
“He would get the boys to engage in a variety of acts.”
One victim said he had been “robbed of his childhood” and “cannot get the thought of the abuse he suffered out of his head”, the appeal court heard.
The second “continues to have nightmares about what happened” and experiences “feelings of worthlessness”.
Paul Jarvis, for the Solicitor General, pointed to the number of offences and there being two victims.
Williams’ crimes warranted a “significantly longer sentence” than five years, he argued.
Ian Wright, for Williams, denied that his punishment was “lenient, let alone unduly lenient”.
“The sentence imposed, and the manner in which the judge arrived at that sentence, was entirely appropriate,” he told the court.
The barrister pointed to Williams’ own youth and immaturity at the time and the lack of offending in the long period since.
Williams, of Llanfaes, Ystradgynlais, is married and acts as a carer for his wife of 13 years, who uses a wheelchair.
Lord Justice Davis said the crimes involved “two very young boys” and said there had been a “long-term impact upon them”.
“A sentence of five years’ imprisonment cannot be justified – it was indeed unduly lenient,” he ruled.
There was ‘room for some degree of mercy’, added the judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Stuart-Smith and Mr Justice Soole.
But he concluded: “The very least sentence in total that can properly be imposed here is one of seven years’ imprisonment.”
Paedophile used games like hide and seek to lure young boys into his house and abuse them
A man abused two young boys by inviting them to his home to play hide and seek and getting them to strip naked – while he put a sheet over his head and pretended to be a ghost.
The incident was part of a series of offences committed by John Mark Williams against the boys in Ystradgynlais more than 30 years ago, a court was told.
On other occasions Williams, now aged 50, touched the boys while playing, groping them when they passed between his legs.
Swansea Crown Court was told Williams, of Llanfaes, in Ystradgynlais, also abused his victims by touching them, as well as performing sex acts with them.
Prosecuting, Richard Ace, told the court: “He got the boys to play hide and seek while naked, and would pretend to be a ghost with a sheet on his head. He would get the boys to engage in a variety of acts.”
The court heard the acts took place over a period of years in the 1980s, beginning when Williams was aged 15. It also heard statements from his victims, in which they claimed Williams ‘had taken their childhood from them’.
One said it had made him become aggressive in relationships, and another that he felt ‘dirty, different, and like scum’.
Williams pleaded guilty to 16 charges of indecent assault.
Judge Keith Thomas said the charges represented specimen counts, and reports “make clear your intellectual capacities are limited”, but added he committed “more aggressive events as time goes on”.
He was jailed for a total of five years.