October 2012

Plymouth paedophile William Goad dies in prison

A Devon paedophile who is believed to have abused up to 3,500 boys has died in prison, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed.

William Goad, 68, from Plymouth died of “natural causes” overnight at HMP Albany, on the Isle of Wight.

The MoJ said: “As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

Goad was jailed for life in 2004 for sexual offences over a 35-year period.

‘Predatory’ paedophile

Goad, who ran shops and market stalls, was jailed for 14 serious sex offences and two counts of indecent assault following a court case in 2004 in which he was described as a “voracious, calculating, predatory and violent homosexual paedophile”.

Plymouth Crown Court was told he groomed his victims by offering them well-paid jobs in his shops and inviting them back to his home.

In 2010 one of Goad’s victims, Ray Zolla from Newquay, was awarded a six-figure sum in damages for the abuse he suffered as a teenager.

Goad did not admit abusing Mr Zolla during the criminal proceedings forcing Mr Zolla to take civil proceedings against him .

He told the BBC at the time the abuse had “totally consumed” his life and caused him to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

After the case, Mr Zolla, said: “I have had a difficult and painful battle over many years to get what I have achieved today.

“It was really hard for me to be in the same room as him at trial. I could not bear to look at him.”

Goad was jailed for life, with a six-year minimum term, in 2004.

December 2010

Infamous predatory paedophile fails in bid for parole

Britain’s most notorious predatory paedophile has been turned down for parole – but can re-apply next year.

William Goad, a 65-year-old Plymothian businessman, once boasted of beating his own record of abusing 142 boys in one year.

When he was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court on October 4, 2004, Judge William Taylor ordered that he must serve a minimum of six years and two months of a discretionary life sentence.

Judge Taylor had stressed Goad would “not be released until the authorities are satisfied you pose no risk to anyone, particularly children”.

He added: “It may well mean in your case that life may mean just that.”

But it has been revealed that Goad – who could have been freed early next month – was recently turned down following an assessment by the authorities, which included inviting his victims to make statements.

Sgt John Livingstone, who was part of the team who brought Goad to justice, said the Prison Service, the Probation Service, the police’s sexual offences unit and social services were all involved in the review which listened to a number of arguments for and against Goad’s release.

He said: “He has a legal right to ask for parole and following being turned down he has a right to appeal, which he hasn’t done.

“The Parole Service assessed him as a very high risk, noting factors of the case and the seriousness of his offending.”

It is understood one of the factors used to assess Goad’s suitability for parole was his absconding to Thailand for eight years prior to the trial, where he lived under a false name with a false passport.

Goad had attempted to convince the prison authorities that he no longer needed to be considered a category A prisoner – rated a high risk to the public – but could instead be regarded as low as category C, which could have allowed him to attend an open prison with less need for security.

It is understood the prison authorities refused the category change.

Sgt Livingstone said: “I am aware that Goad tried to come across as a changed character. He also tried to give the impression that he ‘wanted to be treated as a human being’ and had done every course that had been asked of him.

“He highlighted that he had been in hospital and was very unwell and would expect to live the rest of his days in sheltered housing.

“He also stressed he had little to no money left, despite repeated civil claims against him for compensation.”

As a former director of Cornish Market World – which still houses Ben’s Playworld, one of the largest indoor children’s play parks in the South West – Goad became a millionaire, which he added to through property deals.

Paul Wyatt, one of Goad’s victims, said he felt “relieved” Goad was refused parole, saying it would have been a “travesty of justice” if he had been freed. He said many victims felt let down when Goad was given a tariff of six years.

While Goad’s victims suffered the effects of the abuse, with some taking their own lives, Paul said Goad had never shown any remorse and had fought efforts to bring him to justice.