'I did the right thing and I was punished': The moment a woman discovered her partner's child porn stash and her life fell apart

  • Leah Mouatt, 34, found her husband's graphic porn site account in 2014
  • Phillip Vellio convicted with two counts of possessing child abuse material
  • Ms Mouatt's life fell apart and was alienated from friends and family
  • She turned to the Salvation Army for food and petrol vouchers to survive
  • She feels brave enough to talk about the experience despite her troubles
  • She now works at Lifeline to help victims of crime and studies psychology
  • Australian Federal Police said child porn streaming is increasing rapidly
  • The number of cases in Australia jumped 250 per cent to 11,000 in 2015
  • PartnerSPEAK is leading a global surge to support partners of offenders

A woman's six year relationship and her life spiralled out of control when she found out her partner was into child porn and experts say online child sex exploitation is increasing in Australia.

Leah Mouatt's life came tumbling down one night in 2014 at her Penrith home when she decided to search her husbands computer when she thought he was cheating on her. 

Fearing her husband, 33-year-old Phillip John Vellio, might be meeting up with women he met online she searched his commonly used user names and what she found was disturbing, according to the SMH

Her husband had a public profile on a pornography site for user-generated content, which he had uploaded photos of clothed pre-pubescent girls, including a family friend, accompanied with graphic comments. 

Leah Mouatt's, 34, life came tumbling down one night in 2014 at her Penrith home when she found child abuse material on her husbands computer

Leah Mouatt's, 34, life came tumbling down one night in 2014 at her Penrith home when she found child abuse material on her husbands computer

His favourite porn was listed as 'teens' and his sexual preferences was 'nothing is taboo'.

Ms Mouatt, 34, said her life cascaded into chaos after she wept on the floor and she called her friend to come pick her up, never to see her husband again. 

'All I remember next is a lot of screaming and crying and being on the floor,' Ms Mouatt told the SMH. 

 I did the right thing and I was punished.There was no good that came from it. My life blew apart from that phone call and the only thing that got me through was hanging on to knowing that I'd done the right thing.

Police seized more than 32,000 images and 854 videos from Mr Vellio's laptop consisting of babies, toddlers and teenagers in various sexual acts with other children and adults. 

Mr Vellio was convicted with two counts of possessing child abuse material, but Ms Mouatt lost her home, friends and family as a result of the ordeal. 

'My world imploded,' she said.

'Everything was destroyed. I lost my friends, I was taken to [court] by [some members of his family] who didn't want me to get a cent. I lost my home, my car. I've lost my trust in other people. I've had to rebuild a whole life.'

As a result of the police seizing her former husbands material, Ms Mouatt lost her home, friends and family and found help from a counsellor

As a result of the police seizing her former husbands material, Ms Mouatt lost her home, friends and family and found help from a counsellor

Mr Vellio admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital for two months and Ms Mouatt suffered from shock, anger and chronic fatigue in the aftermath of financial battles in court with her in-laws and was forced to turn to the Salvation Army for food and petrol vouchers.  

Her saving grace was a counsellor provided to her for free under Victims Services and Support in NSW - the only state to allow partners of child porn offenders to apply for help.

The tragic case of Ms Mouatt might not be all that uncommon with the Australia Federal Police investigations skyrocketing by more than 250 per cent to 11,000 in 2015.  

The alarming figure was exacerbated by the growing trend of Australians streaming live videos of child sex abuse from the dark web originating from overseas and a Children's eSafety report said 7456 child abuse sites were shut down in a year.  

NSW and Victoria have hardened its stance on child abuse material and increased the maximum imprisonment penalty to 10 years. 

Leah Mouatt, 34, (Right) with her former 33-year-old husband Phillip John Vellio, (Left)

Leah Mouatt, 34, (Right) with her former 33-year-old husband Phillip John Vellio, (Left)

However, very little is known about women like Ms Mouatt, who are not considered victims and reports show they are often alienated by friends and family after such events.  

A NSW report showed 99 per cent of offenders are male and other studies found half of the women had children, stayed with their partner and others were left with no home or a social circle after alienation.

Founder of PartnerSPEAK Natalie Walker is trailblazing a global surge for the support of partners affected by online child abuse offenders. 

Ms Walker is a victim herself - finding child abuse material on her former-husbands computer - aims to help understand the pain and experiences non-offending partners have to suffer. 

Ms Mouatt feels brave enough to speak pout on her ordeal nearly two years later, despite the feeling society her feeling she got punished for doing the right thing. 

'I did the right thing and I was punished. There was no good that came from it. My life blew apart from that phone call and the only thing that got me through was hanging on to knowing that I'd done the right thing.' 

Stoic and brave, Ms Mouatt is now beginning to rebuild her life and volunteers at Lifeline to help victims of crime and studies psychology. 

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