A YOUNG Powys dad has been sent to jail by magistrates, who activated his suspended prison sentence order due to non-compliance.

Owen James Williams, from Newtown, was sent down for six months by magistrates sitting in Welshpool this week.

Williams, 23, was spared an immediate prison sentence by the same court in January 2023 following two “completely unprovoked” attacks on separate victims in incidents in 2022.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday, April 30, that the dad-of-two’s progress on the community aspect of the suspended sentence order had been hampered by a car crash he was involved in last year, as well as his declining mental health.

Williams, of Ffordd Croesawdy, was appearing after being charged with failing to comply with the order by missing two office appointments with the probation service in March, and not providing evidence for the absences.


After admitting breaching the order on Tuesday, the bench hearing the case decided to trigger the sentence.

The original order threatened to send Williams to jail for a year – but it was suspended for two years.

Probation officer Julian Davies said the original order was extended in November after Williams suffered knee and hip injuries in a car accident.

Prior to the two missed appointments, Mr Davies said Williams had started well on the order – he has completed 99 of 200 unpaid work hours.

“He started to slip from November, where not much has gone on,” said Mr Davies, who told the court Williams’ probation officer had recommended the activation of the suspended sentence.  

Rob Hanratty, representing Williams, said: “At first glance it looks like a young man showing contempt.

“But the suggestion he has no motivation belies the problems he has faced since July last year.

“He suffered multiple injuries in a car accident and spent a month in the hospital. This led to significant issues.

“Probation actually proposed to get rid of the unpaid work element of his order, but he said he’d complete it.

“He has been diagnosed with ADHD and autism, and he suffers from acute depression, which has all had a debilitating effect on him.

“He has taken to using illicit substances to deal with the pain and has developed an addiction.”

County Times:

Mr Hanratty described Williams as a “vulnerable young man”.

“This is his first appearance for a breach. It’s very rare probation seek activation of a suspended sentence on the first breach.

“He is on benefits because he can’t work. He is crying out for support; it would be harsh to deprive him of his liberty today.”

Magistrates asked Williams, who brought a bag with him to court in the event of being sent to prison, for his own explanation. He said: “I recognise I need help, I want all the support I can get.

“I want to get back on track. I have two children, aged 3 and 4, and they are why I get out of bed in the morning.”

After deliberating for a long period, magistrates told Williams they were activating the suspended sentence, but not in full.

“This was a blatant breach of a court order,” said chair of the bench, Andrew Jackson.

“We have taken into account your good compliance and are reducing the term to six months.”