WHEN Joanne Perry received a phone call from the police she assumed there had been a mistake.
She was told her husband had been arrested and thought he must have been misbehaving while out drinking with friends.
But when the mum-of-three found out Bevan Perry was a paedophile, who had been sexually abusing children for ten years, her world came crashing down.
Joanne watched in court as Perry was sent to prison for 15 years for his crimes.
She says: “This is the biggest betrayal imaginable. There isn’t a moment that I don’t think about his victims.”
The 38-year-old, from Chesterfield, Derbys, first met Perry, 36, at a nightclub in her home town in 1995 and fell for his charms.
The former shop worker says: “I was out with friends and was only 18 but he didn’t seem to care. He made me laugh and seemed really friendly. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch.
“At the time he worked on a flower stall at Chesterfield Market. I was training to be a hairdresser.
“I had a five-month-old son from a previous two-year relationship and Bevan loved that I had a child.”
The pair saw each other every weekend for a year until Joanne finally decided to move in with him.
She says: “Everything was falling into place. He made me laugh all the time, said the right things and supported me.
“It felt like we were becoming a proper family and we made so many lovely memories.”
A year after moving in with Perry, Joanne became pregnant with their first child.
She says: “Our daughter was born in August 1999. I was thrilled to add to our family and so was he at first.
“But after a while his behaviour changed. He became more controlling and started being more moody.
“I thought he was just stressed with work and more possessive because I was looking after our child. If I went out he would call me to check up on me.
“I didn’t notice it at the time, but he stopped me seeing my friends.
“I spent all my time being a housewife and looking after our family.”
They married at Chesterfield Register Office in September 2000 after a relative died and left her some money.
Two years later Perry left the flower stall and got a job as a security guard in a residential boys’ school.
In 2005 he left that role and started a new job as a special needs assistant at a Derbyshire infant school.
She says: “I worked at a newsagent and he would walk me to and from there. People thought it was nice, but I realise now it was a form of control. At home I did everything for him and if I didn’t he’d get angry easily.”
Joanne pushed his behaviour to the back of her mind but in 2012 she found out she had muscle disease fibromyalgia, and her health made her reach out to old friends on Facebook.
It made her realise how controlling he had been and she decided to leave him. She said: “I somehow worked up the strength to tell him I didn’t love him any more.
“He got really angry and refused to leave home.
“I didn’t know what to do, so the next day I left work early and changed the locks so he couldn’t get in.”
She tried to piece together a new life but a month later, she received the devastating blow when she discovered he was a paedophile.
Police told Joanne that Perry had been arrested for a list of horrific attacks. He had sexually assaulted and raped a number of children, with five of the counts involving a child under the age of 14. It was one of the most prolific cases they had seen.
Joanne recalls: “It took a while for the words to sink it, I felt sick and so confused. I was totally devastated and in complete shock. It didn’t feel real and for hours I felt completely numb.
“My husband had been harbouring the most disgusting secret. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart.
“This was a man I had children with. I felt sick and angry.
“I couldn’t sleep afterwards. My mind was racing. Every memory I had made was tainted, everything I thought I knew about was a lie.”
Joanne gave a statement in court and watched as Perry was found guilty of nine offences. He was handed a 15-year sentence and ordered to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Joanne adds: “I’ll never get over what has happened. There are days when I feel like I can’t go on.
“He might be in prison now, but his poor victims will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. Me and my family will have to live with this for ever. It is hell.
“It was like watching a stranger. I am so glad he is locked away but it doesn’t make any of this easier.
“He has destroyed my life. I spend endless nights going over the past, trying to figure out how he kept his dark secret.
“All the memories that whizz around my head are tainted because the whole time I was with a monster.
“All I can do now is look after my three children, who are now 15, 17 and 18, and hope they can get through this most difficult of times.”
Joanne feels it is her responsibility to speak out in a bid to help anyone else who finds themselves in such a situation. She says: “I hope I can reach out to any others he abused.
“My husband deserves to be locked up for ever. His terrible crimes will haunt me for ever.”