Son who helped wanted paedophile father hide in wall avoids jail

A man who helped hide his paedophile father hide while he was on the run has avoided jail.

60-year-old Brian Ward, who was described as one of the UK’s most wanted men, disappeared in 2013 after he was convicted of with gross indecency with a child under 16, and four counts of indecent assault on a female.

Cardiff Crown Court was told Joseph Ward had been “sofa-surfing” at his uncle’s flat when his father turned up and told him he was going to hand himself in the next day.

In December 2018, officers turned up at the home but the 20-year-old lied to say his father was not in the flat.

After searching the home, he was found hiding behind a false wall.

Brian Ward

Bodycam footage showed the officer searching behind a bedroom mirror which was “hinged like a doorway” to spot Ward cowering inside the wall.

Joseph Ward pleaded guilty to assisting an offender by delaying police entering the property, but he denied knowing his father was in the hole in the wall – which the court accepted.

Judge Neil Bidder QC said Joseph Ward was “put in a predicament by the actions of his father.”

Your father went on the run. You did not see him for a period of years. The offences had a devastating impact on all the family members. It has caused you really mental damage. Your father came completely unexpectedly and without warning to that house. He told you that he was going to hand himself into police the next day. You believed that.

– JUDGE NEIL BIDDER QC

He was handed an eight month suspended sentence and handed a curfew between 6.30am to 8pm and a surcharge of £140.

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