"My 56 year old husband was telling me he had looked at images of children" - wife describes nightmare after arrest over child porn
PUBLISHED: 13:45 16 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:18 18 March 2019
What happens when you find out your husband of almost 20 years has been looking at indecent images of children? A 58-year-old wife and mother from Dereham describes the devastation that follows the arrest.
Early one morning there came the knock at the door.
My first thought was that something had happened to someone in the family because not even the postman knocks that early. We let in three police officers who had a warrant to search our property.
They were searching for indecent images or pseudo images of children. They stressed they were only wanting to speak with my husband.
I can’t even explain the disbelief and horror, the awfulness of the situation. I wasn’t even allowed to walk round the house on my own in case I interfered with evidence.
The police said they would advise my husband to be honest with me and tell me what had happened, but they would ring me later to tell me what had been discussed during his interview.
When I got home from work I remember hugging my husband. I had convinced myself that he was innocent and this was all a terrible mistake.
We sat down and he told me he’d been watching adult pornography and children had just popped up, he’d not searched for them and he looked at it out of curiosity. I honestly thought he would tell me it had all been a terrible mistake but no, my 56-year-old husband was telling me he had looked at images of children.
The police rang later and confirmed what he had told me. I was also told men like this were very clever and manipulative - they had to be to keep this awful secret.
After he admitted looking at this vile stuff I moved into the spare bedroom. The thought of sharing a bed with him was not something I wanted to think about. I asked him to move out after two days as I couldn’t bear to look at him. It made me sick to my stomach imagining what he had looked at.
During those two days he admitted he had been looking at images of children since before I’d met him. If I had known that he wouldn’t have got through my door.
He said he had ‘only’ looked at images of ‘foreign’ girls. He didn’t understand that it doesn’t matter where these poor children came from, they were being forced to be there. This wasn’t a choice any child would make. My husband couldn’t see where he’d played a part in the industry and still, to this day, a year later, shows no remorse.
It was a really isolating situation. It’s a massive secret and you can’t share it with anyone. Even though I knew nothing about it I still felt ashamed. The stigma that’s attached to this sort of crime is really frightening, I thought vigilantes would be knocking at my door any moment. It’s really difficult to know who to and who not to tell.
My emotions were all over the place, there were feelings of revulsion, disgust but also bewilderment. Who had I been living with all these years? Time seemed to move so slowly, I couldn’t sleep but I felt so tired, I couldn’t eat and didn’t feel hungry.
After the initial shock wore off I started to grieve the loss of my relationship. A month ago I’d been totally oblivious of all of this and loved my husband. I thought we would be together forever, we had spoken about the future, our retirement plans and now I had nothing left. I would ring him for silly things just so I could hear his voice, it felt like a bereavement even though he was still alive.
There is nothing in the area where I live, no support for family members and although the children are the real victims we are the unspoken victims of this crime.
As good as my family and friends had been I needed to speak to people who had been through the same thing, no one else could ever understand the devastation involved.
It was five months before my husband was questioned again, and he told me the police had found Category A and B videos and images on a SD card which had been hidden in the house.
I was devastated for those poor children and what had they gone through.
I have gone from happily married to living through a nightmare. I am taking anti-depressants just so I can get through the day without crying, and additional medication when my anxieties get too much and suffering frequent panic attacks. I have had suicidal thoughts when things have just got too much and I didn’t feel I could cope any longer.
Although family and friends have been unbelievable their lives have moved on from a year ago, but I don’t feel mine has. I don’t know how to let go.
I don’t think I will trust another man ever again. I trusted my husband and he kept this terrible secret from me. I must be so naive that I can’t ever let my guard down again.