Catrina Young thought her new husband, Christopher Lander was the perfect partner for three years, until she discovered he had been raping her in her sleep
A young mum has revealed how she discovered that her newly minted husband had “drugged” and raped her in her sleep.
Catrina Young, a 28-year-old divorced mother-of-two, from Ipswich, thought that she had found her “happily ever after” when she married Christopher Lander.
The couple had been together for three years and shared a son, so getting married seemed to a logical next step. However, just 20 days after the wedding, the couple were woken up at 1.30 am by cops banging on the door.
They had a warrant for the new groom on suspicion of downloading child porn.
And things soon went from bad to worse.
Authorities confirmed that Lander had downloaded thousands of child porn images and videos. Police arrested him for child sex offences and his computer was seized. The new bride and nursing mother insisted that detectives must have made a mistake.
After an anxious few weeks and with Lander still in custody, the police returned to Young’s home. She couldn’t believe what they had to say. Investigators had found sickening footage of Christopher raping Catrina in her sleep.
In her words, Catrina: “ thought [she’d] got lucky, for three years Christopher hadn’t put a foot wrong.”
Christopher Lander and Catrina Young welcomed a son together just before Christopher’s depravity was unmasked
“I told myself it was too good to be true but, at every turn, he more than lived up to my expectations.
“He’d turn up with bunches of flowers, take me out to dinner.
“And then I found out the truth – I can’t believe I was married to such a monster.”
Catrina, who has three other kids from a previous relationship, first met Christopher, 28, in August 2012 when the pair got chatting online.
It had been a year since her first marriage had broken down and her friends had encouraged her to give online dating a go.
She signed up to dating site Plenty Of Fish, Christopher Lander contacted her thereafter.
Catrina had seen Christopher around locally and already had a crush on the construction worker, so she couldn’t believe her luck.
The pair chatted online for six weeks, before his first visited Catrina’s house one evening once her children were in bed
“Nothing happened that night, but he was charming and made me laugh,” Catrina said.
“We arranged to meet a week later; soon it was twice a week.
“He could never get enough of me and it made me feel so wanted and desired.”
Christopher [right], the perfect partner, turned out to be a monster in his new family
Three months later, Christopher moved in. Within six months the pair were expecting their son and,on the nine month mark Lander proposed.
The former care worker said: “I had every reason to believe he was as perfect as he seemed.
“When we had our son he seemed to be the perfect father, he was so proud of him, he’d help with night feeds, change diapers and help all the time, doing the school runs for the older children.
“I will never get over the night when the police came – he was in the sitting room, surrounded by police.
“He couldn’t meet my eyes as the police told me what had happened.
“My legs literally went from under me. But even then I didn’t believe it.
“For the next couple of days, before he was charged, I still clung to the fact it was a horrible mistake.
“I felt sick, completely ill. He’d made me feel safe – we’d even discussed how much we hated paedophiles and yet he was one.”
Catrina Young says she is still haunted by what has happened
When the extent of new husband’s perversion was revealed police returned to Catrina’s house and asked her whether the couple had ever role played with her “playing dead” while they had sex.
Catrina said: “I was confused – of course we hadn’t.
“We’d had a completely ‘normal’ sex life.
“They then told me they had reason to believe he was raping me while I slept.
“I couldn’t take it in, it was revolting.
“I was absolutely disgusted to think he’d done that and couldn’t understand how he’d managed it.
“I still don’t know for sure, but I found sedatives in the cabinet, which I think he must have used.
“I often felt exhausted in the evening and would go to bed early, and he did used to cook for me and make me hot drinks in the evening.
“It was too long afterwards to do proper drug testing on my system.”
Christopher Lander pled guilty to four counts of rape, four counts of assault by penetration in May 2016.
He was also convicted for three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault of a child, two counts of threatening to kill, creation and distribution of indecent images of children.