Married to a paedophile: Wife of abuser shocked to hear of husband’s secret past
How well do you really know your partner? That's a question few people would want to answer. If you've been in a relationship with someone for some considerable time, then you might well assume that you know them better than anyone else. But the fact is that there are many, many people out there who have discovered that the person they married wasn't who they thought they were. One such person is 54-year-old Michelle Baxter, who was married to her husband Peter Yates for 15 years, and for most of that time she was happy. But then the police came for him, and everything changed.
Peter Yates was a paedophile rapist who had lured young girls to their home with sweets, and attacked and sexually assaulted them - all under Michelle's nose. Despite the fact that she was totally unaware of Yates' behaviour, she's become a pariah and has been abused and tormented by neighbours.
Credit: Press Association
Michelle first met Yates in 2000, after the breakdown of her first marriage, and got engaged to him after knowing him for only three months. He was opened to her about the fact that he had already been accused of sexual deviancy and molestation in the 90s, but assured Michelle that the allegations against him had been made up by his ex-wife. A few years down the life, the couple's sex life had become stale and humdrum, and Michelle was dissatisfied, but she had no clue as to the real reason why.
Commenting on her marriage, Michelle stated:
"He didn’t just groom his victims, he groomed me. That carried on to the bitter end. I need people to understand that I knew nothing ... Peter told me he’d been accused of being a paedophile in the 1990s. He said his second wife, who has now died, had family who were making up tales to get money for the house. But he was charming and lovely to me, so I believed him that the vicious rumours weren’t true. He was the perfect gentleman to my family. Everybody that met him thought he was a lovely man."
"But he always had some excuse ... I was in denial. I thought to myself: ‘No I haven’t married a paedophile, you would have known’. You don’t know, though, because they don’t just groom the children they groom everybody around them. I don’t think he ever loved me, but I’m not bothered about it, because I wouldn’t want a paedophile to love me. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a relationship again. I love the countryside and dogs and I’ll be happy without someone. I just hope and pray those poor young girls, women now, can try and be happy as well – that’s all I wish for."
On the 30th of June, 2015, police investigators arrested Yates. A year later, following a seven-week-long trial at Preston Crown Court, he was found guilty of a shocking 36 child sex offences against girls - which included seven counts of rape and 22 counts of indecent assault - and was jailed for 25 years.