AN OSWESTRY man caught out in an online decoy sting in 2023 has had the unpaid work element of his sentence removed by a judge.

Gareth Williams, 38 and of Whittington Road, was given a two-year suspended sentence at Mold Crown Court, in Wales, in February 2023.

Sitting judge Niclas Parry also ordered Williams to carry out 30 rehabilitation activity days plus 120 hours of unpaid work.


However, Judge Peter Barrie, sitting at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Wednesday, May 15, heard an application from the defendant to forgo the unpaid work because of the responsibilities he carries as his wife’s principal carer.

The original sentencing at Mold had heard that she had multiple sclerosis.

Judge Barrie said he agreed with the application ‘with this instance’ but reminded the court that unpaid work is an punitive measure for people convicted of crimes.

Williams had been previously sentenced for chatting to a ’14-year-old girl called Danni’ which was a decoy by created by a vigilante group.

During the month-long online conversation, Williams was aware the ‘girl’ was under 16 and exhibited ‘grooming behaviour’.

He was discovered when the group turned up at his property to confront him and his wife called police.

Court had previously heard that he had addressed his interest in females under the age of 16 with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

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Judge Barrie also heard in Shrewsbury that Williams had been ‘excellent’ in all dealings with probation so far.

Judge Barrie said: “I understand from reports that you are committed to caring for your wife who is here in court and you have been called excellent by probation.

“I am not going to ask you to contribute to the costs of this hearing.”