Scorned wife Gaylyne Fowler who distributed revenge photos of husband's lover and landed in court: 'I wouldn't change a thing'

By Ilona Hanne

"Of course I regret ending up in court, but in all honesty if I could go back in time, I wouldn't change my actions. The only regret I have is that I now have a criminal conviction on my record."

Gaylyne Fowler's desire for revenge at her husband's affair landed her in court after she posted nude photos of his lover around town.

Despite pleading guilty to a charge of offensive behaviour and ending up with a $250 fine, the Taranaki woman says she doesn't regret it.

It seems many people of Hawera feel she did what anyone would have done.

"I have had people approach me and say they are happy to pass the hat around to cover the cost of the fine, their attitude is one of 'good on you'."

Gaylyne Joy Fowler, 49, appeared before Judge Philip Crayton on Wednesday at Hawera District Court on a charge of objectionable behaviour.

The court heard Fowler printed off several copies of the photographs on to A4 paper and then placed them on windscreens of cars at the Hawera Fire Station car park in November last year. Fowler's husband was a chief fire officer with the volunteer brigade.

Later in the same month, more of the photos were distributed, to businesses in Hawera and to the other woman's husband, the court heard.

The photos came with messages made from cut-out newspaper letters, identifying the woman featured in the photographs.

After Fowler entered a guilty plea to the charge, which carried a maximum $1000 fine, Judge Crayton told her he imagined she had had plenty of time to consider the trouble she had got into as a result.

"Whatever your motives, and however aggrieved you may have felt, you should not have responded in this way," he told her, before he fined her $250.

Gaylyne says a few years ago she would never have imagined how her life would have changed so much.

"I thought I had it all. The perfect life, the best family, the best husband, the best friends. My husband was either at work or at the fire station where he was a member of the volunteer fire brigade. I just had no idea."

One of the things Gaylyne had no idea about, was that a woman she considered a good friend - and whose grandson was friends with her children - was actually having an affair with her husband.

"She was one of my closest friends, she could come and go as she pleased in my house.

"I just didn't know exactly how at home she had made herself, not just with my house, but with my husband."

A few years ago, the friend and Gaylyne's husband embarked on an affair which was to eventually destroy Gaylyne's marriage, family and cost her the family home.

While Gaylyne did not find out about the affair for some time, one person who did know was her elder son who was a teenager at the time.

Now, says Gaylyne, she can look back and see the signs. Her son went through a rebellious stage, angry at his father and struggling with his schoolwork and life in general.

She worried about him, but didn't know the secret he was hiding from her that was causing his emotional turmoil.

Having found out about the affair, the teenager began copying things from his father's computer and phone, including intimate photos and video footage of him and his mistress.

One video was filmed at Gaylyne's husband's workplace, on his work phone. As such, it eventually came to the attention of his employers.

"It turns out, I was the last of many to see the video or the photos.

He told me there was a video of him with this woman, my supposed friend. He swore it was a one-off, a mistake.
Gaylyne Fowler

"One video had in fact been uploaded to an adult website and gone viral. Half of the town had seen it before I even knew of its existence".

With the video online, friends of the couple told Gaylyne's husband he needed to tell her before someone else did.

"I came home for lunch one day and he was outside, pacing up and down on the lawn. He looked at me and said 'I have to tell you something'.

"My heart just sank. He told me there was a video of him with this woman, my supposed friend. He swore it was a one-off, a mistake."

Gaylyne says she was "obviously" upset but she was determined to work on their marriage.

"My father had an affair when I was 16, and the subsequent divorce was hard on us kids. I wanted to protect our three children from all that. I thought we could get through it."

Over time however, Gaylyne and her family struggled to cope with the impact the viral video had on their lives.

"Our younger son, who was just 12 at the time, received messages on social media from people he didn't know, adults, asking him if he had the link to the video of his father and could he send it to them. Grown men, asking a child that!"

As Gaylyne tried to put what her husband told her was a one-off moment of madness behind her, her elder son struggled even more with what he knew.

Eventually, he couldn't stay silent any longer and spoke to his aunt, telling her the affair wasn't a one-off, but rather had lasted for some time.

Gaylyne's sister called her and told me there was more, lots more photos and the affair was clearly longer lasting than she had thought.

When Gaylyne saw the numerous photos and messages her son had copied off his father's computer, she says, "my heart just crumbled".

Looking at the photos, Gaylyne says one stood out to her. "It was the two of them in my daughter's bed. In our family home."

At this point, says Gaylyne, "I realised he had no respect for me, our marriage, or our children. I knew then, I couldn't stay married to him anymore".

The resulting divorce proceedings have led to Gaylyne losing her family home and friendships.

"When we were married, the fire brigade was a huge part of our lives, I went to all the events, all the wives spent time together, it was like a second family.

"Now, I was on my own, they were still my friends but I was no longer attending stuff at the firehouse with them."
To add insult to injury, the nature of living in a small town meant Gaylyne often came across the other woman.

"She and I work in the same town, and it is small. I would see her parking her car, walking into work. It just felt I couldn't escape her presence anywhere."

And so, Gaylyne snapped.

"I had been out with my girlfriends, helping them all get ready for an event at the fire station. In a past life, I would have been getting dressed up with them and looking forward to a good night. Instead I helped them get ready, then like Cinderella, headed home on my own."

Later that evening Gaylyne went for a drive.

"I don't remember planning it, but suddenly there I was, outside the firehouse, knowing they were all in there having fun. That woman was there, at the party, living the life I had once had, and I was stuck outside."

Gaylyne had several copies of a selection of the photographs the woman had sent to her husband.

"They were intimate photos of her and some fruit. I had printed a few of them off onto A4 paper and I just lost it. I placed them on some of the cars parked outside the fire house."

On her way home, she made one more stop. "I put an envelope with another copy of the photos under the door of her workplace."

Once back at home, Gaylyne says, "I slept like a baby that night. That was it for me, I felt I had finally moved on."

She does feel sorry for the fact her actions have led to the whole affair being dragged up again she says,

"I feel sorry for our kids who have had to hear it all again, but that said they all support me. I wasn't the one to have the affair after all, I just was the one to have the last word!"

- NZ Herald

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