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Sex offender in family

(40 Posts)
MuffinTip Wed 08-Feb-17 16:32:19

In the last few days I have found out that a member of my family has been charged and found guilty of possessing indecent images of children as well as other extreme pornography. These were Category A level images.He was originally charged with making indecent images of children but that charge was withdrawn. Shockingly he has somehow avoided jail and been given a suspended sentence plus placed on sex offenders register. He is related to me by marriage and has several children with his wife who is a member of my family.

His wife and many other members of the family are standing by him. In fact they haven't even told anyone about his crime and trial. I only found out by accident. When we saw them recently there was no mention of this and I am sickened that they sat in my home and didn't tell me the truth about this monster. I have young children myself and I am so sad that I haven't been given the full information.

I am absolutely devastated that members of my family have kept this hidden and struggling to reconcile it all with the people I have loved and trusted all my life.

I can't believe he can get away with these crimes and still lead a basically normal life. None of their children have been removed but I believe from reading the newspaper reports that their children are very much in danger. Maybe SS are involved but obviously as none of this has been told to my directly I am not aware of it. I am so worried for their children.

I am so angry to see on FB all these happy family photos and updates knowing that he is a convicted sex offender.

I don't even know what I am asking. I just feel so betrayed and confused that everyone is sweeping it under the carpet and pretending nothing has happened. Even to the extent of keeping it hidden from other family members. I really just need to write it all down.

My husband and I have agreed that we will have no contact with any of these family members from now on in order to safeguard our own children but the whole thing is just so sickening.

I honestly don't know what to do.

BaymaxismyHero Wed 08-Feb-17 16:41:01

It must be awful to have found out this information.
Believe me when I say social services are involved. If children are under 5 health visitors will know and if over 5 school nurse will know.
It's a long process to assess the children in the home of the individual involved.
I would keep my distance and don't get involved with anything on social media.

Thephoneywar Wed 08-Feb-17 16:48:36

If he's been convicted and given a suspended sentence and placed on the sex offenders register than I don't think he has got away with his crimes.

toptoe Wed 08-Feb-17 16:49:49

Do what you are doing - keep yourselves well away. Abusers' abuse is often minimalised or swept under the carpet by their 'nearest and dearest'. I think it's because people think that 'monsters' commit crimes like this, but actually these people can have families and can appear functional. Those nearest to them, unless they were directly abused (and even when they are) will not want to see it for what it is. There is no way you'll ever convince someone that this person is a danger if they don't want to believe it. This makes them even more dangerous, and is often why abuse carries on - because those around the abuser are groomed by them in some way.

I would think he will serve a prison sentence for this.

Also, it is not always a given that people abuse their own children - they often see their children as an extension of themselves and wouldn't do it to them. Of course, often they do.

ImperialBlether Wed 08-Feb-17 16:50:35

A suspended sentence is nothing, Thephoneywar. It's not a real punishment and given the family are backing him, he hasn't even got to change the way he behaves.

JaxingJump Wed 08-Feb-17 16:51:18

I think there is a misunderstanding about this 'standing by' the criminal. These are family members who have loved and cared for this man, possible all their lives. They know many good things about him too. You can't just easily switch that off, and the horror and shock of it all is probably numbing them. Imagine your son was convicted like this. Would you have nothing more to do with them? Or would you be heartbroken beyond words, shocked and devastated, and desperate to somehow make them better or make it right again. I would never abandon my child no matter what they do. That doesn't mean I would condone it or accept it. But I would have to live with it till the day I died. I'd still stay by my sons side and do whatever I could to help make him well/stay away from ever ever doing that again.

I think you need to respect your poor family and what this man has put them through too. Don't make it even worse for them. By all means ban this man from your lives, your family would have to accept that. But don't punish them further considering the impossible situation they are in.

ImperialBlether Wed 08-Feb-17 16:51:40

I think it's easier to fool people who are not technologically literate, too, so if your mum and dad are on his side they may well believe that it's relatively easy to accidentally download something like that.

rumred Wed 08-Feb-17 16:52:13

Ah the clever sex offender. He has got away with it, in my book. Loads do, because of the overloaded system and perhaps he's seriously remorseful. Which sadly for children is unlikely.
Cutting contact is good. Have you talked to other family members about it? His family will have been assessed by social care and he will have limits set on Certain behaviours and situations. It's shitty that you haven't been informed by him. Thankfully you know and are making good decisions.

HarmlessChap Wed 08-Feb-17 16:53:08

Well he's clearly a sick fuck who is wired wrong but I guess that the fact he didn't get sent down and his kids haven't been removed mean that the court thought there was little chance that he would actually commit physical abuse against children rather than simply getting off seeing other people abuse them.

Hopefully his DW will send him on his way once the full realization of what he is sinks in.

0dfod Wed 08-Feb-17 16:53:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadeForThis Wed 08-Feb-17 16:53:28

I would forget about those family members that have stood by him. Their mistake to live with. But I would make a point of informing any other parents that have dealings with him that he has been convicted. Let them make their own decisions.
I couldn't keep it hidden from my other family members of their dc could be at risk.

MuffinTip Wed 08-Feb-17 16:54:10

I understand that he hasn't got away with it but because he was given a suspended sentence by all appearances he seems to be continuing with his normal life!! And everyone is behaving as if nothing has happened.

Thank you to the poster for the information about social services. It is reassuring to know that agencies will be incolved with the children

Thephoneywar Wed 08-Feb-17 16:55:00

Imperial, maybe that is true but he is now on the sex offenders register. This is going to severely damage his job prospects. Has he lost his current job? His life will not go back to normal, and rightly so.

MuffinTip Wed 08-Feb-17 16:56:57

He runs his own business. He is very rich and successful. The business appears to be running as usual. He has not lost out at all so it would seem.

HarmlessChap Wed 08-Feb-17 16:59:38

He has not lost out at all so it would seem.
Local papers are usually quite interested in this kind of story.....

rumred Wed 08-Feb-17 16:59:49

Quite possibly. Money smoothes over many 'difficult' issues.
Horrible. Hope you can talk to friends about it for support

RedAndYellowStripe Wed 08-Feb-17 17:00:01

I would want to know why he hasn't actually be given a suspended sentence. Surely this means that the judges thought it wasn't serious enough to warrant a stay at the prison?

Personally, as someone more lossely part of the family, I would want to follow the judges POV rather than the family becaus it will be impossible to know all the facts.
It's up to you to decide then whether this is serious enough for you to want to avoid seeing him with your dcs for example (e.g. Be on the register of sex offenders)

AndNowItsSeven Wed 08-Feb-17 17:02:40

Harmless chap yes that would really be helpful for his children hmm

RedAndYellowStripe Wed 08-Feb-17 17:04:42

YY about the fact the children haven't been removed that therefore the judges and SS didn't find the situation warranted such an action.

I am very careful about playing judge and deciding if X sentence is serious enough, too leaniant etc... wo all the facts.

As for telling the newspapers, what the heck would you want to achieve with that? Making his children paria in their own town, forcing them to move away? The effect of doing something like this is wide ranging. It doesn't affect just the criminal but also innocent people that certainly don't deserve that.

MuffinTip Wed 08-Feb-17 17:06:39

I won't be telling newspapers?! I haven't even suggested that. It was reported locally but they have now moved area.

I am more upset that no one in my family told the truth about this man

user1478860582 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:09:13

So you and your husband have made the decision to stay away. That's your choice. There's not really a lot more to say is there?

So why the post on MN? To be the centre of the inevitable outrage that is going to be poured out?

CoolCarrie Wed 08-Feb-17 17:10:25

WTF HarmlessChap, what a ridiculous suggestion, those poor kids to have to read that kind of thing in the local paper, bloody hell.
OP you can only do what you can do which is keep yourselves well away from him.

MuffinTip Wed 08-Feb-17 17:11:24

I just wanted to write it down really. I don't have anyone to talk to as my family don't know that I know. Apologies if I shouldn't have posted. I didn't mean to cause offence

RedAndYellowStripe Wed 08-Feb-17 17:11:58

Muffin that was in response to harmless post.
I know this is not something you have mentioned.

RedAndYellowStripe Wed 08-Feb-17 17:13:09

And no offense at all.
This is a serious and unusual situation to be in. Trying to decide what is and isn't the best way of action isn't easy. Nor is it easy to sort your feelings about the way his close family reacted.

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