February 3, 2016

Man handed fine after admitting bigamy

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Andrew David McLeod-Baikie, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, admitted the offence earlier this week.

The Magistrates Court had heard that the defendant had separated from his first wife, with whom he had four children, in 2010.

The following year the 52-year-old had initiated divorce proceedings online and, having received paperwork, he wrongly believed that the process had been completed.

In actual fact he had not received a decree absolute and was still married to his first wife when he tied the knot for the second time.

The offence came to light after his first wife discovered photos on Facebook of her estranged husband marrying another woman. She subsequently alerted the authorities.

In his defence, the court was told that there had been a “misunderstanding” and McLeod-Baikie had not realised that the divorce had not been finalised.

After admitting bigamy, the defendant was fined £400 and ordered to pay an additional £400 in costs.

Bigamy is not a common offence in the UK, although there are some fears that the temptation of pursuing a “quickie divorce” may create problems in future years.

Those convicted tend to receive fines, although a prison sentence may be imposed in cases where one party has been deceived and suffered injury as a result, or if the offence has been committed to evade immigration laws.

To find out more about the family services we provide, please contact Patrick Hart from our family law team today.

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