Feb 2005

Sex abuse man, 66, jailed for 10 years

AN Amman Valley pensioner has been jailed for ten years at Cardiff Crown Court for sexually abusing two girls.

John Howells, aged 66, of Lauderdale Road, Tair-gwaith, was found guilty of 17 offences involving two girls of charges of indecent assault and committing acts of gross indecency.

Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “I regard you as a grave risk to children aged between six and 16.”

He directed that on his release Howells, who is believed to have been living in Tairgwaith for nearly 20 years, register as a sex offender for life and banned him from ever working with children again.

Before passing sentence the judge told a packed court: “The sentence I am going to pass is going to cause a great deal of distress to people here.”

He said Howells, who committed the offences when he live in Newport and Gwent, had been found guilty of specimen allegations involving children.

The judge said: “It took place over many years. The seriousness of the offences was that they were calculated and premeditated.

“There was no thought for the well being of the victims.

“You abused innocent children. You’re behaviour has caused damage that was evident.

“I consider the women that came to court to give evidence against you as very brave.”

Howells, said the judge, never the less continued to deny the offences.

Defence counsel David Webster said: “The offences fall short of rape, devastating though they were to the victims.”

He said that Howells had a handicapped son who would duly suffer.

He said that Howells suffered from arthritis, diabetes and bad hearing. “When he is released he will be an old man,” he added.