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Paedophile used games like hide and seek to lure young boys into his house and abuse them

The ‘low-IQ’ Swansea Valley man was told he had ‘taken their childhood from them’

John Mark Williams lived in Llanfaes, Ystradgynlais
John Mark Williams lived in Llanfaes, Ystradgynlais

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A man abused two young boys by inviting them to his home to play hide and seek and getting them to strip naked – while he put a sheet over his head and pretended to be a ghost.

The incident was part of a series of offences committed by John Mark Williams against the boys in Ystradgynlais more than 30 years ago, a court was told.

On other occasions Williams, now aged 50, touched the boys while playing, groping them when they passed between his legs.

Swansea Crown Court was told Williams, of Llanfaes, in Ystradgynlais, also abused his victims by touching them, as well as performing sex acts with them.

Prosecuting, Richard Ace, told the court: “He got the boys to play hide and seek while naked, and would pretend to be a ghost with a sheet on his head. He would get the boys to engage in a variety of acts.”

The court heard the acts took place over a period of years in the 1980s, beginning when Williams was aged 15. It also heard statements from his victims, in which they claimed Williams ‘had taken their childhood from them’.

One said it had made him become aggressive in relationships, and another that he felt ‘dirty, different, and like scum’.

Mitigating, Ian Wright, said Williams had “very real cognitive functioning issues” and a “full-scale IQ of 55 to 51, so in an extremely low range, a range of one per cent of his peer group”, and that his “calendar age is highly unlikely to be his mental age”.


He added Williams was also a carer for his wife of 13 years, who suffers a variety of health issues, and uses a wheelchair.

Williams pleaded guilty to 16 charges of indecent assault.

Judge Keith Thomas said the charges represented specimen counts, and reports “make clear your intellectual capacities are limited”, but added he committed “more aggressive events as time goes on”.

He was jailed for a total of five years.

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