It’s a Tuesday like any other. Then, in the afternoon, there’s a knock at the door. The dog starts barking and wakes our 12-week-old baby, Sam. My partner, Keiron, looks out of the upstairs window to see two women at the front door. We assume they are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Keiron leans out, saying he can’t come down. Then everything changes.
The women are police. They work in child protection services. Keiron, Sam and I go downstairs to find out what’s going on. They tell us to sit down and ask Keiron if he knows why they are here. He says no. Then they tell us an allegation about a sex offence made by a child at the nursery where he works.
My stomach turns to concrete. I have no shadow of doubt that this is a horrible mistake. I hold Sam in disbelief, calculating all the ways this is going to mess up our lives.
They take our computer away. I’m self-employed, so even though Sam is very young I am still working. I watch my livelihood vanish through the door and ask the police: “Are there any guarantees that it will come back unharmed?” No, they say, adding that it will be a minimum of four to six weeks until it is returned – assuming that it is clean of pornographic images of children. We’re told that paedophiles look at on-screen images of children before moving on to the real thing, so the computer will indicate Keiron’s guilt or otherwise.