Former DUP councillor sentenced for attempting sexual communications with a child

William Walker has avoided jail after admitting to two counts of attempted sexual communications with a child.

A former DUP councillor, William Walker, has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three years probation after admitting two counts of attempting sexual communications with a child. He has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

At Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, Walker was told by Judge Geoffrey Miller KC that his claim that he had no sexual interest in children had to be “viewed with scepticism”.

Walker, 60, is originally from Killyleagh in County Down, but now lives in Blackpool. His political career in Northern Ireland saw him serve as a DUP councillor for many years. He has also served as the mayor of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The DUP suspended Walker after he was arrested in March 2022, and he later resigned from the party.

The court heard that Walker contacted two teenage girls, and posed as a 24 year old man. The girls were actually members of a paedophile hunting group that were acting as decoys.

Walker asked one of the girls to be his girlfriend, discussed teaching her how to kiss, having sex with her, taking her virginity and asking if they could meet.

He contacted the second girl on 16 February, asking if she had a boyfriend. She told him it was her 14th birthday and he continued to message her on WhatsApp. He also called her the day after telling her that he would buy her a new phone, but she should hide it from her mother.

Walker told the Police that he had no intention of meeting up with the girls, and subsquently pleaded guilty to the two counts.

The Judge told Walker that he had considered imposing a 12 month sentence, but instead imposed the enhanced combination order as a “direct alternative to custody”. Walker was warned that any further offending or breach of the order would result in him being summoned to court again, and possibly jail.

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