Serial Paedophile Jailed for Longer

Aaron McWilliams has had his prison term increased after the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, referred his original sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

Attorney General’s Office and The Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP

21 May 2021

A serial paedophile has had his prison term increased after the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, referred his original sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

Between 2012 and 2017, Aaron McWilliams, 29, committed a number of serious sexual offences against at least 21 young children in his care, the youngest victim was 4 months old.

McWilliams forged documents to obtain jobs looking after children. His offending began by stealing from one family and escalated to sexual abuse. McWilliams had previous convictions, including sexual assault on a child under 13 and a breach of a sexual harm prevention order. While serving a suspended sentence, McWilliams sexually assaulted a young child he was looking after and was sent to prison. Upon his release, he then sexually assaulted another young child in breach of a court order intended to prevent his sexual offending. After his arrest, the police found images on his phone which led them to discover the sexual abuse campaign on which the offender had embarked.

On 2 November McWilliams was convicted of a number of sexual offences at Woolwich Crown Court and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 9 years.

On 21 May the Court of Appeal found the original sentence to be unduly lenient and increased his sentence to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years.

Speaking after the hearing, the Attorney General said:

“McWilliams abused his position of trust in the most horrific way. He took away the innocence of many young children and shattered their lives and their families. I am pleased that the Court has increased the sentence, and I am grateful for the guidance it gave about the minimum term the most serious sexual and violent offenders should serve. I hope this brings some solace to all those who were affected by his despicable crimes.”

The Court of Appeal gave guidance about the setting of minimum terms for the most serious sexual and violent offenders. The Court clarified that the minimum term should be calculated with consideration to the fact that offenders of these types of crime are now only eligible for release once they have served two-thirds of their sentence, rather than half.

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