Australian politician reveals husband's child porn conviction

Australian politician Rachel Carling-Jenkins Image copyright RACHEL CARLING-JENKINS
Image caption Rachel Carling-Jenkins reported her husband to police

An Australian politician has delivered a harrowing speech revealing that her estranged husband was jailed for possessing child abuse images.

Rachel Carling-Jenkins, a member of Victoria's state parliament, said she discovered the extensive collection in their family home last year.

Her husband was convicted after Dr Carling-Jenkins and her son went to police.

She said the discovery had turned her life upside down.

"In this discovery, I personally viewed deeply distressing images which have caused me immediate and ongoing anguish," she said.

"My marriage ended instantly and I left home the day I made that discovery and I have not returned to the family home since, except to pick up belongings."

The conservative politician told a sitting of the Victorian upper house on Thursday that she had kept silent on the matter to prevent interfering with police and court proceedings.

She had never had suspicions that her husband was addicted to child abuse images.

"I have no regrets as a mother or a wife in reporting and exposing this dreadful crime which occurred within the privacy of my home," she said.

'Poor, helpless victims'

Dr Carling-Jenkins said her husband had since refused to sign divorce papers and also denied her a property settlement and access to assets.

She said she had been financially and mentally abused by her husband, who had been sentenced to prison.

She also spoke of the anguish she felt for the young victims.

"The faces of many are etched into my memory for eternity and I pray that the police were able to identify and rescue as many of the poor, helpless, vulnerable victims as possible," she said.

"These little girls would not be abused if people like my ex-husband did not provide a market."

Fellow MPs hugged Dr Carling-Jenkins in the chamber after her speech.

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