David and Pauline Williams, of Bradninch in Devon, became friends with the Wests when they lived close to their notorious home in Cromwell Street, Gloucester in the 1980s and 90s.
The couple were today convicted of subjecting six girls and four boys to horrific rapes, sexual assaults and beatings at Exeter Crown Court following a six week trial.
The jury heard that Williams, 56, terrified some of his victims by boasting of his connections to the serial killers, who used to drink at the Prince Albert pub which they ran in Gloucester.
The court was also told that Williams was a voyeur who set up cameras to watch his Rose West lookalike wife having sex with pub customers and friends.
Pauline, 52, was said to have mocked the victims during their ordeals and carried her own sexual assaults on several of the children.
Fred & Rosemary West
Frederick Walter Stephen "Fred" West (29 September 1941 – 1 January 1995) was an English serial killer. Between 1967 and 1987, West – alone and later with his second wife, serial killer Rosemary West – tortured and raped numerous young women and girls, murdering at least 12, including their own family members. Fred killed at least two people before collaborating with Rose, while Rose murdered Fred's stepdaughter (his first wife's biological daughter) when he was in prison for theft. The majority of the murders occurred between May 1973 and August 1979, in their homes at 25 Midland Road and later 25 Cromwell Street in the city of Gloucester, with many bodies buried at or near these homes.
The pair were apprehended and charged in 1994. Fred West committed suicide before going to trial, while Rose West was imprisoned for life, in November 1995, after having been found guilty on 10 counts of murder. (Wikipedia)
Back to the Williams
The pair started their campaign of rape and sexual assault in the late 1980s when they were running the pub and continued it when they moved to Exeter and Tiverton in Devon in the 1990s and 2000s.
They ran the Victoria pub in Exeter where they went on to abuse a string of teenagers.
Williams installed cameras in one of his homes in Exeter which he used to film some of the abuse, but all the tapes had been destroyed by the time the police mounted their investigation.
He and his wife used violence to bully the victims into compliance, beating some of them with sticks or strangling them.
Williams told some of the children he was possessed by the devil and others that he had received messages from his dead father telling him to carry out the abuse.
|Fred and Rose West|
The abuse was directed at both boys and girls from the age of seven or eight and in some cases continued until they were teenagers.
During the trial the jury heard how Williams was both an abuser and a voyeur, who liked to film his wife Pauline having sex with pub customers and friends.
David and Pauline Williams denied a total of 46 charges of sexual and physical abuse dating between 1989 and 2004.
Williams was found guilty of ten rapes, 13 indecent assaults, five counts of gross indecency, two of cruelty, and one of sexual activity with a child.
His wife Pauline was found guilty of two rapes and five indecent assaults. Both were found not guilty of eight other allegations involving two other complainants.
The couple denied the abuse but accepted they had known Rose and Fred West when they were running the Prince Albert pub and living at Goodyear Street and Vauxhall Road in Gloucester.
Williams told the jury: 'I did not use that to intimidate anyone. Fred had a drink in our pub before he became infamous and so did his wife Rose.
'From what I remember he was a very friendly quiet man who would sit at a corner table and have a drink. It was Rose who was the mouthy one. She was the one with all the chomps.
'I did not mention them to anyone but sometimes people asked me if I knew them because I came from Gloucester. The pub was round the corner from Cromwell Street. I never worked for Fred West.
'I did not threaten anyone by telling them about the Wests. Absolutely not. There was nothing frightening about my conversations about them.'
|This map shows the distance between where David and Pauline Williams live|
in Vauxhall Road in Gloucester and Cromwell Street,
where Fred and Rose West lived half a mile away
He said: 'David Williams has health issues which need to be addressed before he starts what will inevitably be a very long jail sentence. There needs to be pre sentence reports addressing the issue of dangerousness.'
He told them: 'You have been convicted of appalling behaviour that you meted to these children over a long period of time.
'You have been convicted on overwhelming evidence of a campaign of abuse simply for your own sexual satisfaction. This is very serious sexual offending which has damaged the lives of the children.'