July 2022

Wanted sex offender arrested

A sex offender who has been wanted by Police for almost 2 years has finally been arrested after he was found living on a boat on the Isle of Wight.

James Ernest Williams – also known as Alan John Appleton – has been one of Devon & Cornwall Police’s most wanted criminals since October 2020, with an appeal issued to locate the now 55-year-old for breaching the conditions of his release from prison.

He failed to appear at Newton Abbott Magistrates Court on 9th December 2020.

It was last Tuesday night that Police arrived at Folly Lane in Whippingham and arrested Williams, taking him into custody at Newport Police Station for questioning.

It’s unknown how he was located but it is known his appearance had changed, putting on weight and growing his hair and beard.

It has been confirmed that the 55-year-old, who originally comes from Manchester, was charged with 2 counts of failing to comply with sex offender notification requirements and was remanded in custody to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 30th June.

At last Thursday’s hearing, the case was sent up to the Crown Court where Williams will now appear on 5th August. He has been remanded in custody until that time.

Williams – or Appleton as he is more commonly known – comes from the South Devon area with links to Torbay and Dartmouth. It was thought he was in the Paignton area for a time, then possibly Portsmouth or Reading. His last known address was Clarence Street, Dartmouth.