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Offline PA

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A suspicious wife caught her husband chatting up schoolgirls on the internet by posing online as a 14-year-old from a computer in the next room, a British court has heard.

Cheryl Roberts, 61, called police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children after posing as a schoolgirl then watching her 68-year-old husband, David Roberts, use the internet to try to lure her out for sex.

Roberts was under the impression he was chatting with a young girl and not his wife of almost 20 years, Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported.

But Mrs Roberts, a mother-of-two, was in the living room next to her husband's study, posing as a schoolgirl after cottoning on to what her husband was doing, Cardiff Crown Court heard this week.

Mrs Roberts thought her husband spent too much time in his study and later saw an obscene message pop up on their computer while he was out, the court heard.

"It said: 'You are a f---ing beautiful b----' and was signed Corky - his nickname," prosecutor Martyn Kelly said.

Mrs Roberts realised the message was addressed to a young girl, Mr Kelly told the court.

She then created her own profile - as a 14-year-old girl - in the same chat room and struck up a dialogue with her husband Mr Kelly said.

Mrs Roberts subsequently watched her husband - from the next room - use his webcam to carry out acts of indecency on himself.

Rather than confront him, she called police and the NSPCC.

Police raided the couple's home in Brigend, South Wales, and found illegal child pornography images on Roberts's computer.

But it was weeks before he knew his wife had turned him in. Roberts originally believed police had caught him downloading the images, the court heard.

Roberts denied having sex with any underage girls but conceded he was "prepared to do so".

He was sentenced to a three-year community order and banned from having access online or in person to children under 18.

The couple have since divorced, the Mail reported.

Mrs Roberts told a friend she was shocked at the sentence and believed he should have been punished further.

"I still feel very angry towards him," she told a friend.

"It is hard to think that a man you married could do this.

"But I did the right thing and I don't regret it.

"Now I just need some time to think and put all this behind me."


smh.com.au



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