We have written of our sister’s meeting with Jim Perrin in late 2002 and of how he went to live with her — ‘a safe house’ — in 2003. She had no idea of his pressing necessity to leave Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant or that his main intention was to outmanoeuvre the Child Support Agency. Jac was completely unaware of that aspect of his life and he made sure that it was so: it would be many months before she learned the truth; and even then, only partially.
In several posts we have mentioned Jim Perrin’s slippery evasion of this agency and we fear that inadvertently the impression might have been given that our sister was party to his actions. So the questions might be: Knowing that he had a small baby, why did she appear so accepting of his parental neglect? Why had she involved herself with one apparently so heartless, and disrespectful of another woman — the mother of that child? The answer is that Jac had not been told and she had no idea at all. She was not aware of the truth.
If left unaddressed it troubles us that for even one moment she might have been thought to sanction his behaviour — given her kindness and her care for others — and indeed we have asked ourselves since: why were we, her sisters, not more curious about her new relationship. In reality though, this is a classic case of hindsight. Neither we nor our sister knew anything of that history at the time and it seemed sufficient to us that Jac, in her halcyon days, was so happily in love. It is true that we were close, yet we hesitated to question her unduly — unwilling to intrude; we simply listened, as she confided in us, to all that she had to say. We took it, not with a grain of salt, but as she had herself — at face value. Jac, of course, knew only what Jim Perrin had told her…
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He held back the information that he had lately been married and, in particular, that he had a baby with that wife. He did tell her of his older children, and in time he introduced them, but she had no inkling that Jim Perrin was a relatively recent divorcé, or that he had another child barely seven months old. (Actually he had two, both babies, but that is a story told elsewhere: see Jim Perrin takes to the hills.)
As to any clue concerning paternal obligations or claims on his income: except that he had indicated from the outset that he was financially sound, Jac knew nothing of his financial arrangements. In any event what he had told her, when he was discussing his intention to sell his house, was later shown to be wholly exaggerated and bore no correlation to the truth. But: Jim Perrin did know the truth and, his pressing debts apart, it was becoming urgent that he put distance between himself and the Child Support Agency: a ploy which we believe he has frequently used.
He needed, somehow, to show our sister how crucial it was that he should move away, but without of course arousing her suspicion. Presumably by using tactics such as: ‘Return to sender, not known at this address.’ he might have gained himself a little time — (and with the utmost deception he had taken steps, when he first moved into the property, to conceal his residence there: see our previous post) — but clearly it was now imperative that he leave his sinking ship.
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When he wrote to Jac: ‘I wish to leave here because [his former wife] knows the address’, it was after he had admitted to his prior marriage (six and a half months into their relationship), and he had done so only then because it was integral to his ingenious plan — which was to sell his property in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant and move in with our sister. She had told us how delightful his small house was and how picturesque its setting; now he wished to part with it — although he had given no indication that he was anything but content. Surely only the most serious reason could cause him to leave? To save his skin he must quickly invent one.
So: this was his reason, his ‘story ‘ — and it was powerfully persuasive: he revealed that he had been married only recently, but to a wife whom he had divorced. Their time together was fraught as she was maniacal and prone to outbursts of fury; for the sake of his own sanity he had put it all behind him and that was his excuse for failing to mention it before. Now he led Jac to believe that it was his ex-wife who posed the threat and to further elaborate he told her of the trauma he’d experienced throughout their marriage. She had given him no peace and he was deeply unhappy. His muse had deserted him and as he became increasingly ill with worry he found himself quite unable to work: it was no longer possible for him to endure the by now unconducive environment — and so, he divorced her…
To reinforce the uneasy feeling he had induced in Jac by suggesting that there was an element of real danger, and to impress upon her that his fervent wish was to escape the too-troublesome attentions of his ex-wife, he finally played his ‘I was the victim’ card, and related in detail the occasions on which she had attacked him. One such incident resulted in her locking him out of his own house and he had called the police to invoke their aid. All this he told Jac, and she repeated it to us. There was worse to come. In her rage, he said, she had threatened once to ‘put out his other eye with a knife’ — the left eye being already blind — and considering our revelations about him what followed was absurd: he finally threw down his ‘trump card’ telling our sister his ex-wife was ‘a psychopath’. (We ourselves have indicated in several of the posts on this site that in our opinion it is Jim Perrin who shows many traits, many ‘markers’, of a sociopathic personality… )
He told Jac that his ex-wife resented her and if she knew where she lived would, in a fit of jealousy, undoubtedly attack her too. On no account, Jim Perrin solemnly warned, must she attempt to contact her. (It would have been most inconvenient if Jac had decided to check for herself the truth of his story.) However, and it was diabolically clever, by frightening her as we know he succeeded in doing, he discouraged our sister from making her own enquiries. In her anxiety she relayed all this to us and it was certainly an alarming scenario: so convincing had he been in the telling of his tale that we all believed him…
Jac was in thrall, but oh how we sisters wish that we had not been so trusting, so gullible, and that we had followed up the reports of his violence at the time. It would, in hindsight, have been possible to do as we knew the friend who had told Jac of his behaviour, yet reticence seemed to prevent further enquiries — in view of his plausibility, and our sister’s evident love and trust in him. To this day we regret how wrong we were to ignore those warnings.
After our sister died, and specifically as a result of setting up our site, we have learned so much more about Jim Perrin; and we now know, certainly, that the story he told her was an entirely untruthful explanation of what had taken place — it was an exercise in mind-games — in order to portray himself as the innocent, blameless husband and so to ensure, through her fear, Jac’s compliance and unquestioning loyalty.
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What we find extraordinary is it all so forcefully demonstrates Jim Perrin’s actual, and phenomenal, powers of suggestion. But it has now become abundantly clear — so many who knew him intimately have shared their memories with us — that it was he who was guilty of the wicked behaviour which he so convincingly attributed to his ex-wife: the ‘violence’ and ‘psychological control’ — all the actions of which he accused her were his own. And it was this wife, contrary to what he had told Jac, who divorced him.
The above catalogue of his own behaviour (falsely attributed to his wife) was duly played for our sister and her response was all he could wish: ‘Poor Jim, he was a broken man who had finally managed to extricate himself from an intolerable situation…’ Believing all that he had told her, that is what our sister told us about her new partner. We must emphasise: ‘She was not aware of the truth’.