March 2019

Paedophile recorded himself carrying out horrific acts of sexual abuse against young children

AN “evil” paedophile who recorded himself carrying out horrific acts of sexual abuse against young children was jailed for nearly 30 years.

Gareth Thomas, of Cromwell Road, Newport, made videos of himself forcing his victims to perform sex acts on him and of him attacking them.

One of them drew a picture of Thomas for the police, telling officers: “He’s got horns because he’s evil.”

The 27-year-old’s acts of depravity against several children were described as “sadistic” at Cardiff Crown Court.

The Gwent Police detective who led the case against him branded Thomas one of “the worst child sex offenders imaginable”.

Some members of the public gallery sobbed as prosecutor Christopher Rees detailed the full scope of the abuse to the stunned courtroom.

The court heard how one victim had revealed how Thomas, “threatened to punch them if they didn’t do what he asked.”

They said: “He is big and strong and I’m scared.”

Mr Rees said video recordings of some of the abuse were recovered by police and showed two of the victims “very distressed” during their harrowing ordeals.

One of them was crying and “begging him to stop”.

Thomas pleaded guilty to 30 counts of sexual abuse, including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault and making and possessing indecent images of children.

When officers came to arrest him, Mr Rees said, the defendant “feigned illness and pretended to have a blackout” before he was put in the back of a police van.

Caroline Rees QC, mitigating, said her client pleaded guilty to the offences and had told a probation officer “he deserved to be punished”.

The Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees, told the physically imposing Thomas: “You displayed a total lack of empathy and compassion. I can imagine how intimidating you must have been.”

She said one of his victims was now “haunted and frightened” as a result of the abuse and she described him as being “manipulative and predatory”.

Thomas was handed an extended prison sentence of 29 years made up of 21 to be served in custody plus an additional term of eight on licence.