November 2006

Vigilantes jailed, but abuser is spared

A PAEDOPHILE has escaped a prison sentence just a week after two vigilantes were jailed for attacking him.

Peter Williams, 61, was yesterday given a three-year community order by a judge at Durham Crown Court and ordered to undergo a sex offender treatment programme after he pleaded guilty to sexually touching a young girl.

Williams, was living in St John’s Chapel, County Durham, when he was attacked in June by a group of local people who had heard about the charges against him.

Last week, two men were jailed for 15 months at Durham Crown Court.

Richard Kellett, 32, of Vedra Close, Wearhead, and Kenneth Taylor, 24, of Front Street, Ireshopeburn, Weardale, each admitted burglary in which grievous bodily harm was committed.

Rachael Inskip, 27, of Market Street, St John’s Chapel, was given a 12-month supervision order after admitting affray in connection with the incident.

In the attack at his flat, also in Market Street, Williams was battered with an iron bar and had a kitchen knife thrust in his buttock.

Yesterday, the court heard that twice-married Williams, who has children of his own, was arrested after police were called in when the victim told a friend of the family what had happened.

When he was interviewed, Williams admitted to police that he had touched a girl in a sexual manner.

Judge John Evans said: “The assaults on the girl are relatively limited in terms of extent and duration.

“In response to the publicity surrounding the case, you appear to have been the subject of violence at the hands of those who put themselves above the law.”

The judge said Williams had been hospitalised and then been remanded in custody for his safety.

He said that any jail term he could give would not be long enough to ensure that Williams got the treatment that he needed.

He said: “Probation officers say you are ashamed and full of remorse for what you did.”

Judge Evans added that Williams would have to undergo treatment for being a sexual offender and live in a probation hostel in his hometown of Doncaster.

He warned Williams that if he breached the order, “the likelihood is you will be going to custody”.

Williams was also put on the sex offenders register for five years and prohibited from living with anyone under the age of 18 – unless he has the permission of social services – for ten years.