Police are digging up a garden at the former home of a paedophile couple who were friends with Fred and Rose West.

David and Pauline Williams are believed to have met the Wests while they were running the Prince Albert pub in Gloucester, where they also began to abuse children in the 1980s.

The abuse continued after they moved to Exeter in the 1990s, where they ran the Victoria Inn.

On Tuesday scaffolding was erected in the garden at the bungalow where the Williams’ last lived in Cullompton, Devon, before they were jailed.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the enquiry related to the previous owners and that they were excavating the garden following a tip-off.

A police spokesman said: “Following intelligence received, Devon and Cornwall Police are undertaking excavation work at a property in Cullompton, Devon.

“This relates to historic intelligence connected to the address and its former occupants. It is expected to take up to four days to complete.

“Specialist officers will be involved in the excavation, which we hope will have as little impact on the local community as possible.”

Police said after their trial in November 2015 that the couple had been found guilty of 48 individual and joint charges stretching over 15 years.

David Williams was jailed for life after being found guilty of a number of offences including 11 counts of indecent assault, 10 counts of rape, two counts of gross indecency with a child, three counts of indecency with a child, two of cruelty and two cases of aiding and abetting an indecent assault.

Pauline Williams has been sentenced to 12 years in prison plus four years extended license after she was found guilty on two counts of aiding and abetting rape, two counts of aiding and abetting an indecent assault, and three counts of indecent assault.

Rose & Fred West

The Wests were charged with the murders of young women over a 20-year period.

Fred West hanged himself in 1995 while awaiting trial, while Rose was convicted of 10 murders and sentenced to life the same year.

Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk

Police dig at former home of Fred West’s Friends by Kate | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/