Au pair who abused more than 20 children dubbed ‘every family’s worst nightmare’

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An au pair who sexually abused more than 20 children he was meant to be looking after has been described as “every family’s worst nightmare”.

Aaron McWilliams has been jailed after he sexually abused a large number of children in County Armagh, London, Germany and Italy.

He had been charged to care for them as a live-in au pair, Belfast Live reported.

Commenting on one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years in the UK, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson described the 28-year-old as a “predatory paedophile who sexually abused a large number of children he was entrusted to care for”.

They added: “He is manipulative, cold, calculating, and highly dangerous to children and young people.”

When he was sentenced for his most recent crimes the child abuser was already in Belmarsh Prison for sexual abuse.

He had sexually assaulted a four-year-old child shortly after being released from jail, having previously abused another four-year-old.

This occurred despite that fact he was on a sexual harm prevention order, banning him from any unsupervised contact with children under 16.

Police say he got that job through Gumtree by “deviously (forging) good character references”.

McWilliams, who grew up in village Killylea, Co Armagh, has now admitted to 40 further offences against more than 20 young victims.

The offences were committed between 2012 and 2017 in different parts of the UK and Europe, when McWilliams was working as an au pair.

His first conviction came in 2016 after he sexually assaulted a four-year-old child, only for the offender to start working for another family within weeks of his release from prison.

In that job he sexually abused another four-year-old and was jailed for seven years in August 2017.

A phone was seized as part of the 2017 investigation, and detectives later found 2,472 indecent images of children, graded category A (depicting the most serious child abuse) to C.

Detectives also discovered an extensive collection of videos McWilliams had made of himself sexually abusing his young victims.

He was interviewed twice in 2018 about the material on his phone, and made admissions about his abuse of children.

A total of 24 victims, aged between four months and 14-years-old, were identified during the investigation.

All but one of the victims were boys.

At least one victim has still not been identified by police and is referred to in the indictment as “an unknown child … that is one year of age or under”.

Detective Superintendent Adam Ghaboos, of the Central East Safeguarding team, said: “McWilliams is a predatory paedophile who sexually abused a large number of children he was entrusted to care for.

“It is every family’s worst nightmare.

“He is manipulative, cold, calculating, and highly dangerous to children and young people.

“This case is amongst the most serious child abuse offending that the team has seen.

“I would like to acknowledge the courage of the young victims and their families who have endured the horrific abuse and the long-term harm these types of crimes cause.

“Their information has led to this prosecution, and McWilliams will spend a long time in jail where he cannot harm any other children.

“I also want to highlight the exceptional work of the investigation team for their tireless efforts throughout this harrowing investigation to secure justice for all the victims and their families.”

McWilliams has admitted committing the following crimes:

Fourteen counts of inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity (penetration)
Eight counts of inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity (no penetration)
Seven counts of sexual assault on a boy by touching
Three counts of making an indecent photo of a child
Three counts of sexual assault on a child
Two counts of rape of a boy under 13
Attempted rape of a boy under 13
Sexual assault on a girl by touching
Engage in sexual activity with a boy under 15
Detective Superintendent Ghaboos added: “Our enquiries have led us to a large number of McWilliams’ victims, but we can’t rule out the possibility that there may be more. I would urge any families who have employed McWilliams or believe that he may have had contact with their children to come forward.”

He has now been sentenced to life, to serve a minimum of nine years’ imprisonment after a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday, November 2.

Police have admitted there may be more victims and have urged anyone who employed him as an au pair to contact them.