Friends of Fred West jailed for child abuse

David Williams was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 14 years before being considered for parole. Credit: Irving of Exeter

A Devon couple who were once drinking pals of infamous serial killers Fred and Rose West have been jailed for their own series of crimes against ten children.

David Williams, 57, was sentenced to life in prison, while his 53-year-old wife Pauline was jailed for 12 years, for 48 individual and joint child abuse charges including rape, indecent assault and cruelty.

Six girls and four boys were subjected to sexual abuse and beatings over a period of 15 years. Many of them had told Exeter Crown Court how the abuse still affected their lives as adults, and were in court to see their tormentors imprisoned.

Pauline Williams was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Credit: Irving of Exeter

The Williams became friends with the Wests while running a pub near the killers' home in Cromwell Street, Gloucester, in the 1980s and 90s.

The public gallery is said to have burst into applause as the couple were led away to the cells, following the announcement of their sentences.

The inquiry into the Williams began in July 2013, when a woman told a mental health professional of the sexual abuse she had suffered by David Williams when she was just 15 years old.