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Banbridge man who had sex with family dog jailed for 10 months

By Paul Higgins

Published 01/05/2015

Garth Williams, who was yesterday jailed for offences relating to making and distributing indecent images of children and bestiality
Garth Williams, who was yesterday jailed for offences relating to making and distributing indecent images of children and bestiality

A man addicted to child pornography and who admitted having sex with the family dog has been jailed for 10 months.

Last month, Garth Michael Williams (43) pleaded guilty to 31 offences, including two counts of bestiality between February 2009 and April 2014.

The married civil engineer also admitted 10 charges of distributing indecent images of children, 17 counts of possessing or making indecent images of children and two charges of possessing extreme pornography between October 2011 and April 2014.

Prosecuting barrister Michael Chambers revealed that on the day he was arrested, Williams - who lived in Ballyroney in Banbridge but was originally from South Africa - tried to take his own life before turning himself in.

The lawyer described how police went to his workplace to remove computers and look for Williams. When staff contacted the manager, who was with Williams at the time, the defendant agreed to meet with police before failing to appear.

Officers then went to Williams' home and told his "upset and concerned wife" why they were looking for her husband.

"She got a text from him to say that he was in big trouble with the police as he had downloaded child pornography on his old laptop at work," said Mr Chambers, adding Williams told detectives he would meet them at Banbridge station.

When Williams arrived there, he was caked in mud and had scratch marks on each of his wrists. He told police there was a rope and knife in his car and that he had tried to take his own life.

Once arrested, he confessed he had been looking at indecent images of children since 2000 and that his preference was for young boys, including babies.

He had also viewed and distributed around 1,000 images on computers at work and at home and had "engaged in erotic conversations about child abuse and fantasised about sexually abusing his own children".

Williams further admitted to police that he had sex with the family dog and had "performed a sex act on the dog that he filmed and posted online.

Of the images uncovered, there were 28 still and moving pictures in the most serious two categories which, according to legal guidelines, depict sexual acts involving children, often with aspects of sado-masochism.

Defence lawyer Eugene McKenna said many of the offences came about as a direct result of Williams' confessions.

He added that his client had shown "insight and remorse" for his actions and that he had already paid a high price for his crime in that his marriage was over and his career was in tatters.

But judge Kevin Finnegan rejected the appeals, and jailing Williams at Newry Crown Court, he said the defendant would remain on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

He was also ordered to spend two years on licence dealing with his addiction after he is freed, and banned from working with children or having unsupervised contact with them, and from using computers which do not have monitoring software.

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