June 2021

Abuse survivor warns judge her vile paedophile uncle Billy Adams will take another child

Abuse survivor Michelle Erwin has a stark warning for the judge who will sentence prolific paedophile Billy Adams: “This monster can’t be rehabilitated.”

The 33-year-old north Belfast woman believes the uncle who abused her and who is due to be sentenced for a third child victim is now more dangerous than ever.

“I see him getting out of jail and the next child he gets, he’s not going to let them go. He’ll kill them,” she told the Sunday World this week.

“He took me away at eight years old, kept me in his flat for three weeks and abused me. As soon as he got out of jail he found his next victim, he took her away from her home and done what he done.

“The next child he gets he’s not going to let them go to be able to identify him and go back to jail for another 15 years. He’s not going to do it.

“He’ll be a lot more dangerous coming out of jail than when he went in. He’ll be a lot wiser after being around other sex offenders and child abusers.

“That’ll be the topic of conversation… how they done it and perfecting his techniques.

“This will be the third time he has been convicted and there is no rehabilitating him.”

In March the Ballymena-born pervert – who is currently serving a 15-year sentence for repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Liverpool – was convicted of abusing a teenage boy in the early 80s.

The man branded Ulster’s worst paedophile is due to be sentenced for the abuse later this month.

Adams’ father, John, was convicted in 2003 for raping three girls aged between six and ten in the Republic of Ireland between 1991 and 1993.

It was heard in court how he took photographs of his victims while he abused them, and he was handed down four life sentences, the largest sentence ever given for sex crimes in the Republic.

He died in 2019 while serving his time in Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin, having previously been convicted for abducting a child in Northern Ireland.

Billy Adams’ brother, David, is also a convicted paedophile, having raped a 13-year-old girl in Bangor, Co Down, in 2009

Although Billy is facing more jail time for his sick crimes, the woman who bravely unmasked him as a child predator fears that no prison sentence will ever be long enough.

“It’ll not end until the Adams name is gone,” the mum of two says. “Billy is a paedophile, his brother David is a paedophile and their father John was a paedophile. It was generations and generations of abuse and it has created a monster who I believe is a danger to every child.

“No one is safe when he gets back on the streets, and the reality is a judge can only jail him for so long even though this will be his third conviction.

“So, I feel that the best I can do to save others is to make sure everyone knows his face and knows what he has done and what he is capable of.”

Michelle was just eight years old when Billy Adams took away her innocence.

“He appeared at our home in Bangor one day and said that there was this family holiday happening in Butlins with him and his girlfriend and kids, there was an extra space and he asked could I go.

“I was eight years old, I had never been out of the country and so, of course, I told my mummy that I wanted to go. You thought you’d be safe with your uncle.

“But there was no holiday. It turned out someone was sick and we couldn’t (go) and so for three weeks he kept me in his flat and abused me.

“It was supposed to be two weeks but he told my mummy that I was having such a good time, could I stay the extra week and she agreed, not knowing what was really happening.

“When I got down to his flat in Dublin I realised that his girlfriend had her own flat and he had his. When I arrived to his apartment there was a man there, he was packing up and he was going. I later found out that it was his boyfriend.

“There was a single bed in the room with the double bed and I automatically thought that was my bed but no. I was told to get in beside him.

“It was just downhill from there from the very first night.”

For almost three weeks, Adams abused his niece night and day.

“Back then there were no mobile phones, he didn’t have a house phone. I had to speak to my mummy in his work which was a snooker hall,” she said.

“It was noisy and he was always beside me when I was talking to her. Then you got questioned when you came off the phone, what did she say?

“So, by the end of it I didn’t want to speak to my mummy, that was a hassle for me having to talk to her and I was getting questioned by him and it was getting worse every time.

“Towards the end she started to realise and ask me things and I couldn’t answer. I was starting to withdraw on the phone and just didn’t want to know.

“My mummy then just came down herself, she knew something was wrong.

“She arrived at the snooker hall and he didn’t know she was coming; he was as shocked as I was.

“My mummy said when she got out of the car, every time he walked, I walked. When he stopped, I stopped because I didn’t know what was going to happen.

“In the three weeks he was abusing me, he hit me once because, I was only eight years old, I couldn’t do it right.

“He told my mummy I had been bad and that’s why he hit me. So I got shouted at by my mummy for being bad on holiday.

“And when she arrived I thought, she’s going to shout at me, I’ve done something wrong and this is all my fault.

“We eventually got to his flat and she was packing my stuff and she realised there was no underwear to be found, anywhere.”

Broken and withdrawn, Michelle returned to her Northern Ireland home, but within days Adams turned up on the doorstep.

“I remember answering the door and I just stared at him and run (sic),” she recalled.

“He came in and then at one point went on the phone, he was involved with the priest that time and he was talking to him.

“Father Jeremiah McGrath was his cash cow, he’d been giving him money and he was obviously asking him for more.

“That’s when my mummy found out, she was standing on the stairs and heard him admit it on the phone what he’d done to me.

“She didn’t say anything and when he left she sat me down, but I still couldn’t say.

“At the time I was close to David, obviously we didn’t know then he was one too. My mummy said I could write a letter to him…tell him what Billy did to me.

“I thought, that’s a good compromise because I didn’t have to say it then.

“It was just, ‘Billy did…’ and a picture of a wee man and woman in a bed on top of each other. David never got the letter, my mummy opened it straight away.”

The abuse was reported to gardaí and Adams was arrested and eventually sent for trial.

After going through the horror of giving evidence against the man who abused, a then 11-year-old Michelle was given a devastating blow – it was a hung jury.

However, gardaí rearrested Adams and sent him for second trial. The verdict was guilty.

He was sentenced to 12 years in the Republic, but managed to secure a transfer to Maghaberry Prison where he was able to take advantage of the 50 per cent remission rule, which meant he was released in 2004.

With the help of Fr Jeremiah McGrath, he moved to Bootle in Merseyside, where he found his next victim in 11-year-old Jade Critchlow.

Adams was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to rape and abuse of the child.

The judge ordered that he serve a minimum of seven years and six months.

He abused her in accommodation in Blackpool paid for by McGrath; Adams had given her gifts using money sent to him by the priest.

McGrath gave thousands to the paedophile to help groom little Jade, who bravely waived her right to anonymity.

In 2007 Co Kerry-born McGrath, who served part of his priesthood in Fermanagh, received a five-year sentence for his part in the sickening abuse.

Michelle believes the pair are still in contact.

“I would say the first person Billy Adams will get in touch with when he’s out is Jeremiah McGrath and they will continue on with the only thing they know, abusing children.

“He lives in England and there is nothing stopping Adams from jumping on a boat again, changing his name and going back to somewhere where he is not known and targeting another child.

“He targets the dysfunctional families, the ones he can get into easily and he goes for girls who look younger than they are. The wee girls who are small, long hair.”

Michelle said she believes there are more victims of evil Adams who have yet to come forward.

“I am 100 per cent sure there are,” she said. “He attacked the latest victim in the 1980s and he didn’t attack me until 1995 so there has to be at least one more in all those years.

“He got out of jail in 2003 and attacked in 2005 so he does not wait about. And now he’s getting out of jail and the internet is a big thing now, social media, the chatrooms. I am so worried for the public of what he will do.”

For now, Michelle says she is helping to support her uncle’s known victims.

“We sort of have this bond that we shouldn’t have, that no one can understand.

“And now the new victim, he’s in the bond too and we are talking. He is very fragile at the moment and we are helping him.

“He doesn’t understand how we are so strong but he will be too some day. He will get there.”

April 2021

Convicted paedophile found guilty of indecently assaulting a boy and attempting to rape him


A convicted paedophile has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a boy and attempting to rape him.

William Adams, who was previously convicted in England and the Republic for raping young girls, was found guilty in Belfast on Friday.

Originally from Ballymena, Co Antrim, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

However, Adams was found guilty of an attempted sex assault on a child aged under 16 and indecent assault.

He was found not guilty of a second charge of indecent assault.

It is understood the attacks happened between 1982 and 1983.

Adams will be sentenced on May 6.

In 2007, he was convicted of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Liverpool, aided by his Catholic priest lover Fr Jeremiah McGrath.

Described in court in Liverpool as a “predatory paedophile”, Adams had earlier convictions in the Republic for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and raping an eight-year-old girl.

Fr McGrath, a former parish priest in Rosslea, Co Fermanagh, was jailed for five years for aiding and abetting Adams to rape the girl.

He has since been released from jail and has been defrocked by his former religious order, St Patrick’s Missionary Society.


June 2007

Priest who adored rapist friend

mgrathA parish priest from County Kerry, Father Jeremiah McGrath, has been jailed for five years in Liverpool for arranging and facilitating the rape of a young girl in 2005.

William Adams, from Belfast, (pictured below) pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping the 12-year-old girl in England.

It was his third paedophile conviction and the judge gave him seven and a half years.

Father McGrath, first met William Adams in a hostel for the homeless in Dublin in 1988.

The two men developed a sexual relationship.

McGrath told the court he was “besotted” by Adams and loved him.

“I don’t think he loved me”, McGrath told the court in Liverpool.

At this stage Adams had already been to jail in the Republic for abusing a young girl and had admitted as much to the priest.

A year after they met, McGrath moved away from Dublin to begin parish work elsewhere. In the meantime, Adams raped an eight-year-old girl in the Republic and went on the run.

The priest gave Adams money to allow him travel to Scotland to avoid arrest.

But Adams was arrested and received a 12-year-sentence for the rape.

When he got out of prison after just six years, Adams moved to Bootle near Liverpool and with financial help from McGrath rented a flat.

Described in court as a “predatory paedophile”, William Adams was soon on the prowl again for a new victim.

In 2005, he made contact with a Liverpool family with two children.

It was the perfect target.

The girl’s parents had split up. The mother was an alcoholic. The family was described as “dysfunctional”.

Adams befriended them – using the name Adamson.

Soon he was plying the young girl with presents, including a mobile phone.

He would use this to contact the girl behind the family’s back and lure her away.

Before long, Adams had taken the girl to his Bootle flat and raped her. At the same time he paid for her gifts, clothes, meals and hair styling.

But he also threatened her.

The girl told the court by video link: “He said he would batter me… I was scared in case he battered me.”

At the time William Adams was unemployed and receiving social security.

Yet, despite his apparent lack of wealth, he took the girl with him to Blackpool for her 12th birthday.

Adams lavished presents, entertainment and food on her. But every night for three nights, the girl told the police, Adams raped her.

Adams took the girl back to Blackpool, along with her mother and young brother, for a three-week holiday to Blackpool. Father McGrath would eventually join them.

To most people it looked like a family unit; Adams as the father of the girl and McGrath as Adams’s uncle. But there was absolutely no family relationship between the three.

Yet the hotel would set a place card on the dinner table inscribed, “The Adamson family”.

They believed William Adams was the young girl’s father and that the priest was Adams’s uncle. McGrath never challenged this. He never spoke out when Adams claimed the girl was his daughter.

The priest just told the court, “I didn’t tell anybody I wasn’t his uncle”. Yet he had admitted he already knew Adams background as a paedophile.

The Adamson Family

And why the name tag – The Adamson Family? Didn’t he wonder what this was all about?

“It didn’t matter to me what the name was”, McGrath told the court.

“Didn’t you wonder why he (Adams) wasn’t using his own name?”

“It didn’t matter to me”.

“You sent him mail in that name.”

“Because he asked me to,” replied McGrath

“You didn’t say a word to anyone?” McGrath was asked in court.

He answered “No”.

“Didn’t you think you had a responsibility to warn the family about the sort of person Billy Adams was?”


If he was unemployed, where did Adams get all the money from to groom the girl? Witnesses told of money being spent like it was going out of fashion.

Month after month, regular sums of £3,000 were placed in a joint account set up by the two men. McGrath insisted the money was from Adams winning at the bookies. But it was claimed in court he had given Adams more than £23,000 over eight months.

McGrath certainly knew Adams was a twice-convicted paedophile.

But even when the girl’s family confronted Father McGrath with Adams’ real history, he still denied it.

And he did nothing to prevent William Adams from seeing the girl again, even though social services by now had warned Adams off contacting the girl.

Instead, McGrath paid the rent of the flats in Blackpool that Adams would use.

Eventually in late November 2005, the girl told a family friend what Adams had done to her and Adams was arrested and charged with raping her. He eventually pleaded guilty to raping and assaulting the girl.

After searching McGrath’s house, police found a character reference McGrath had written to a judge. It was for William Adams who was due in court on a drink driving charge.

The letter read: “As a Catholic priest and uncle of William…” But McGrath wasn’t William Adams’ uncle.

He admitted in court: “I shouldn’t have done it. It wasn’t true.”

“It was a deliberate lie, Father McGrath, wasn’t it?”, insisted the prosecution.

“I know it’s a lie but I didn’t do it deliberately.”

McGrath claimed he was blind to what was really happening.

“I knew the nature of the allegation but he claimed he didn’t do it,” McGrath had already told the court. “He could do no wrong in my eyes.”

“The tragedy of that, Father McGrath, is that Billy Adams was able to corrupt this child under your nose,” said the prosecution

After being arrested, Adams had written to McGrath to ask the priest to help him make bail. McGrath had written a reply.

“You know me. Anything that is possible I’ll do it… it was a very difficult time. We gave it our best shot. At least it was a good year, 2005 and please God next year will be just as good… thanks for everything you did for me.”

“God didn’t have much to do with this,” observed the prosecution. McGrath has been suspended by the Catholic church until they can decide his future.