She was “naive” to be “manipulated” by her husband, who said he did not know how old his victims were the wife of the perverted police office jailed for exploiting young girls said.
After pretending to be a teenager to exchange sexually suggestive messages with girls aged 14 and 15 and getting them to send him nude pictures of themselves between September 2016 and March 2017, Humberside Police officer Gareth Richards was imprisoned.
In his defense, his wife gave a character reference but only did so because Richards, “manipulated” her.
Richards, 36, said here that after the court hearing their online profile pictures clearly showed their youth and some of their usernames included 2001 or 01, suggesting their year of birth, he didn’t know how old the girls were.
His wife is adamant that she doesn’t stand by him or love him. She said The reference to the character was based on what I knew, what he told me, not anything else. I did not have any official information available to me.”
“I kept asking him about the charges, and he was never really precise, and I just trusted him, and I had to do my own digging. I feel ridiculous.
“Throughout the process, Gareth lied to me and I was really naive.
“Gareth doesn’t take responsibility for what he’s done, he thinks that it’s my fault because I wasn’t loving enough.”
Richards, from Brocklesby, North Lincs, was jailed for five years and four months at Hull Crown Court.
Prosecutor Gerald Hendron told the court that he told one of his victims in a message: “Are you really 15?” It doesn’t matter if it is you.
But Richards told his wife in messages after being charged: “There’s no way I knew the people were underage at all! ”
“I did not know the extent of his acts – if I knew I would not have stood by him.”
Before being released on licence, Richards will have to serve half of his time in prison and he will have to register as a sex offender.
The matter will be passed on to the Professional Standards Branch of the force now that the court proceedings have ended, a spokeswoman for Humberside Police said.