A PLYMOUTH woman whose call to police uncovered a monstrous paedophile has spoken of the horrific moment she discovered messages from the man on her husband’s phone.
The mother of three, who cannot be named for legal reasons, started the investigation which unearthed paedophile Geoffrey Rooney when she picked up her husband’s phone after a message came in.
She said: “It was January 5, this year. My husband’s phone went off and he was out shopping. I checked his phone.
“It was another man saying ‘I’m back’. I didn’t know him so I began to scroll through the messages.”
As reported in The Herald on Friday and Saturday last week, the message sparked a police investigation which saw 39-year-old Rooney, of Camperdown Street, Devonport, admit a string of sick offences including rape and sexual abuse of young children, taking pictures of the offences and sharing them online with other paedophiles.
The mum today told The Herald she was sickened by the messages found, and says her first thoughts were to kill both her husband and former Chief Petty Officer Rooney. Unsurprisingly, she still feels that way nearly a year later.
Alongside indecent images of children she found messages from Rooney urging her husband to bring along any or all of her three children – all of whom are under five years – so he could indulge his sick fantasies.
She called police who seized the phone and arrested her husband. He immediately pointed the finger at Rooney, saying he had sent the images unsolicited.
The mother said: “The police told me my husband had begun having a relationship with Rooney about a month before we got married. We’d been together six years, but we didn’t marry until September 2013.”
She is now going through a divorce from her husband who is now living in Devon with his new girlfriend.
Police say he accepted a caution for possession of indecent images of children and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for two years.
The mother told The Herald that after her husband’s arrest she contacted the NSPCC and Plymouth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
She said: “My eldest is now very, very scared of men.
“They’re really struggling at the moment. There’s constant nightmares with the two oldest. They have them every night. They’re emotional wrecks.
“I’ve had to go to the doctors and say ‘I need help’. I’ve had to push for several months to get help for my children.”
The mother said that when detectives involved in Operation Darkling informed her of what they had discovered from her husband’s phone she became enraged.
She said: “I wanted to kill them both.
“That feeling still hasn’t changed.
“It’s completely destroyed our lives.”
Police said the eldest of the mother’s three children has been video interviewed by specialist child protection officers three times and has not made any allegations of sexual abuse.
Neither Rooney nor the husband have been charged with any offences involving the children.