A sexual predator from Bridgend who abused a young girl for three years in the late 1990s has been jailed following a police investigation that spanned nearly two decades.
David Carey Williams, 58, had been on the run for 20 years before he was arrested at Heathrow Airport back in October, 2021.
He was planning to return to the UK unnoticed but South Wales Police officers were making their own plans to meet him at the airport as he landed.
Williams had fled the UK back in 2000 after becoming aware his victim had been interviewed by police. Shortly after, officers found his car in Rhoose and they established that he had boarded a flight to Lanzarote.
Operation Enigma was launched to find him and in 2013 officers became aware he was somewhere in Sri Lanka – they were working with the NCA, Foreign Office and Sri Lankan authorities to pinpoint his location and extradite him.
Williams had no clue police were working with the National Crime Agency, Immigration and Sri Lankan authorities to thwart his plans to return to the UK unnoticed in October, 2021. When he was arrested, he was found in possession of key evidence relating to the original offence from over 20 years ago.
During the three years of abuse, he sexually touched and indecently assaulted his vulnerable victim on multiple occasions while she was between the ages of 10 and 13.
He was charged with ten counts of sexual activity with a child and pleaded guilty to eight of them. On Friday (May 27) he was jailed for 12 years and three months at Cardiff Crown Court. He will serve half that sentence in custody and be made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order upon his release.
Detective Superintendent Mark O’Shea, from the South Wales Police Major Crime Team, said:
“I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who was horrendously abused by Williams as a child. She has endured two decades of anguish and heartache knowing her abuser was evading justice while on the run overseas.
“She has supported the police investigation throughout these long years of waiting for justice, and it is a testament to her bravery that she was prepared to face Williams in court and give direct evidence of the abuse she suffered as a child. The strength of her evidence was so compelling that Williams was left with little choice but to plead guilty to the majority of charges.
“Now in her 30s, she had to wait far too long for justice because of the cynical, cowardly and calculated way in which Williams fled the UK. But I do hope that today’s sentence will enable her to put this traumatic chapter behind her and move on with her life.
“I would like to pay tribute to the tenacity of our officers who have relentlessly pursued Williams, never giving up hope that one day they would catch him and bring him to justice – it is a fine example of dogged, determined detective work. I would also like to thank the National Crime Agency, Foreign Office, Crown Prosecution Service and Immigration Service for their assistance in securing his arrest.
“Anybody who has experienced abuse during their lifetime should report it – it is never too late. We will do everything we can to support that person and bring perpetrators to justice no matter how long it takes.”