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.”
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.