Mark Williams-Thomas

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Mark Williams-Thomas
Mark Williams-Thomas.jpg
Williams-Thomas in November 2013
Born Mark Alan Williams-Thomas
(1970-01-09) 9 January 1970 (age 47)
Billericay, Essex, England
Education Birmingham City University
Occupation Investigative reporter
Awards

Mark Alan Williams-Thomas (born 9 January 1970)[1][2] is an English investigative journalist and former police officer. He is best known for exposing Jimmy Savile as a paedophile in The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, a television documentary he presented.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Williams-Thomas was a constable and family liaison officer with Surrey Police[5] from 1989 to 2000.[2] He was reportedly awarded several commendations.[citation needed]

In July 1997, Williams-Thomas led an investigation into public school teacher Adrian Stark, who was charged with possessing child pornography. Stark committed suicide at Beachy Head, East Sussex days after his arrest.[6] In 1999 Williams-Thomas was involved in the investigation of Anthony Bridger[7] who subsequently pleaded guilty to 32 serious sexual offences against boys[8] and was jailed at the Central Criminal Court on 8 January 1999 for a minimum of 15-years. In 2000, Williams-Thomas was involved in the investigation into Jonathan King, which was launched by Mervyn McFadden of the National Criminal Intelligence Service[9] and led by Detective Inspector Brian Marjoram.[10] The investigation resulted in King's conviction for the sexual abuse of under-age boys.[2]

Between 2001 and 2002, Williams-Thomas was the marketing manager and a director of GumFighters,[11] a "national chewing gum removal specialist". The company were hired by various councils to clean their streets.[12][13]

In 2003 Mark Williams-Thomas was charged with blackmailing a funeral home director, after alleging that there were multiple bodies buried in unmarked graves. An article ran in a national Sunday paper describing the mass burials. He was acquitted.[14]

In 2005, he set up WT Associates, an independent child protection consultancy firm.[2]

Television[edit]

From 2003, due to his past in the police force, Williams-Thomas began script advising for various television crime dramas which included : BBC series Waking The Dead (2007-2011), BBC series Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2007), Ch5 series Murder Prevention (2004), ITV series Identity and BBC series The Silence.[15]

On 9 August 2012 ITV News broadcast an exclusive interview Williams-Thomas undertook with Stuart Hazell who was the last person to see missing 12-year-old schoolgirl Tia Sharp. Hazell went missing the day after this interview and was arrested later the same day on suspicion of Tia Sharps's murder. He was later charged and on 14 May 2013 was jailed after changing his plea. The judge ordered that he serve a minimum of 38 years.[16]

On 3 October 2012, almost a year after Jimmy Savile's death, Williams-Thomas presented a documentary 'The Other Side of Jimmy Savile' on ITV. The expose of Jimmy Savile examined claims of child sexual abuse against Savile and led to extensive media coverage, including 41 days[citation needed] on the front pages and the Metropolitan Police launching a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex, Operation Yewtree. The Other Side of Jimmy Savile and Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing won the 2012 Peabody Award[17] which was broadcast on 3 October 2012.[2]

In the Exposure documentary, several women claimed that they had been sexually abused by Savile as teenagers. In 2013, Williams-Thomas won two Royal Television Society awards and the London Press Awards Scoop of the Year for the film.[18][19][20] The episode and Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing won a 2012 George Foster Peabody Award.[21]

Williams-Thomas is a regular reporter on This Morning, Channel 4 News, as well as long form current affairs documentaries for Exposure.

His undercover work in Cambodia led to the arrest in 2013 of a person suspected of offering under-age girls for sex and the rescue of two girls, aged 13 and 14.[22]

In 2014 Williams-Thomas covered the verdict of Oscar Pistorius and was the only British journalist to meet with Pistorius during his trial, writing an exclusive report for UK national newspaper Daily Mirror.[23] On 24 June 2016 ITV broadcast Oscar Pistorius: The Interview[24] in which the former Paralympian spoke in a world exclusive to Williams-Thomas, in his first television interview about the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.[25] It was broadcast in Pistorius's home country of South Africa immediately after the ITV programme finished.[26]

On 11 November 2014, This Morning broadcast an exclusive interview with Jo Westwood,[27] the ex-wife of jailed sex offender Max Clifford.

In 2015 Williams-Thomas investigated the unsolved murder of BBC presenter Jill Dando. Writing in the Daily Mirror he theorized that she was murdered by the London underworld for her work on Crimewatch.[28]

Williams-Thomas was the reporter and investigator for ITV's crime series The Investigator: A British Crime Story, produced by Simon Cowell's Syco.[29] The series re-examined a 30 year old previously 'closed' murder case, the murder of Carole Packman, whose body has never been found. The series was broadcast over four consecutive weeks on ITV, from 14 July 2016.[30] Dorset Police subsequently confirmed that the case remained open and that they would be examining new evidence presented by Williams-Thomas.[31] A second series of The Investigator is planned for 2017.[29]

Filmography[edit]

  • To Catch a Paedophile (2009; ITV)
  • On The Run (2011–12; ITV)
  • Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile (2012; ITV)
  • Exposure: The Jimmy Savile Investigation (2012; ITV)
  • Missing Without Trace (2012; ITV)
  • Living With a Killer (2013; ITV)
  • Exposure: Predators Abroad (2013; ITV)
  • Exposure: Inside the Diplomatic Bag (2014; ITV)
  • Oscar Pistorius: The Interview (2016; ITV)
  • The Investigator: A British Crime Story[32] (2016–present; ITV)

Personal life[edit]

Williams-Thomas completed his MA in criminology from Birmingham City University in 2007.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Check Company". Check Company. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Halliday, Josh (24 February 2013). "Mark Williams-Thomas: I ran the Savile film like a criminal investigation". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Keogh, Kat (12 January 2013). "The Brum lecturer who unmasked twisted Jimmy Savile". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Owens, Nick (30 December 2012). "Year of crime: Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas on Jimmy Savile, Tia Sharp, Twitter perverts, and Al-Hilli murder mystery". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Surrey Police : Report Into Operation Ornament" (PDF). Surrey.police.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  6. ^ Michael Streeter and Ros Wynne-Jones. "Body in sea thought to be child porn teacher | News". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  7. ^ "Man charged with dozens of child sex offences". Get Surrey. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Two decades of abuse against boys". BBC Online. January 7, 1999. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "How did King fool so many for so long? | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  10. ^ Clough, Sue (2001-11-22). "Pop veteran Jonathan King given seven years for abusing schoolboys". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  11. ^ "Gumfighters Uk Limited". OpenCorporates. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  12. ^ "Cleaning blitz to rid city streets of gum". Yorkshire Post. 2002-03-19. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  13. ^ "By Gum - We Ll Beat It". News Guardian. 2001-03-22. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  14. ^ "UK | England | Southern Counties | Man cleared of blackmail". BBC News. 2003-06-04. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  15. ^ "Mark Williams-Thomas MA at". Thespeakersagency.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  16. ^ "Tia Sharp murder trial: Stuart Hazell jailed for 38 years - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  17. ^ "'Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing' and 'Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile' (ITV1 and ITV)". George Foster Peabody Awards. 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Deans, Jason (22 May 2013). "BBC Newsnight journalists win award for spiked Jimmy Savile investigation". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Gover, Dominic (29 July 2013). "Jimmy Savile Sex Crimes Investigator Mark Williams-Thomas Probes Cover-up Claims". International Business Times. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Turvill, William (21 February 2013). "Double RTS win for Savile documentary maker". Press Gazette. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  21. ^ ""Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing" and "Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile"". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  22. ^ Hamilton, Mike (10 November 2013). "Police in Cambodia seized a suspect and rescued two girls aged 13 and 14 in a sting operation following a TV investigation into child traffickers supplying children to British paedophiles". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Mark Williams-Thomas: Why I believe Oscar Pistorius is no murderer and Reeva's death was a tragic accident - Mark Williams-Thomas - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  24. ^ "Oscar Pistorius: The Interview Episode 1". ITV. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  25. ^ Travis, Ben (24 June 2016). "Oscar Pistorius, The Interview, ITV: the Paralympian talks about Reeva Steenkamp's killing with journalist Mark Williams-Thomas". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Here's when you can watch the Oscar Pistorius interview in South Africa - Times LIVE". The Times (South Africa). 24 June 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "Max Clifford's ex wife, Jo Westwood talks exclusively to This Morning | "ITV Press Centre"". Itv.com. 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  28. ^ "Jill Dando was shot dead because of her work on BBC Crimewatch, claims top investigator". Bristol Post. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  29. ^ a b Jefferies, Mark; Methven, Nicola (3 August 2016). "The Investigator real-life murder story finishes with 'jaw-dropping' revelations - and clues point to second series". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  30. ^ "The Investigator: A British Crime Story Episode 1". ITV. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "Police will re-examine evidence into murder of Carole Packman as convicted killer retracts confession made to TV investigator". Bournemouth Echo. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "The Investigator: A British Crime Story". 
  33. ^ "School of Social Sciences : Mark Williams-Thomas". Bcu.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 

External links[edit]