Garry Floodgate, who works as a plant driver, admitted bigamy at a court hearing in Northampton, the BBC reports. Magistrates heard that he married a 55 year-old Canadian woman called Sheila Siebert in Las Vegas last summer while still legally married to Rachel, 26.
Mr Floodgate insisted:
“I thought I was divorced. I made a mistake. I had no intention of breaking the law.”
He believed, he claimed, that court documents had shown he was already divorced.
“I was just confused. I had lots of things going on in my head.”
Mr Floodgate had separated from Rachel and was in the process of divorcing her when the wedding took place, said prosecutor John Cavener.
“The defendant formed a relationship with a Canadian national over the internet and the relationship became a serious one. He went over and met the lady and after a very short space of time they decided to get married. Unfortunately he was separated and going through divorce proceedings, but was not divorced.”
Rachel called the police when she saw the photos of the ceremony online. The pair had married in 2004 and had two daughters together, but they separated in 2010. She began divorce proceedings the following year but a decree nisi was not granted until eight days after Garry Floodgate’s wedding in Las Vegas. A decree absolute followed in July.
Sheila Sheibert is now attempting to have her wedding annulled. Mr Floodgate said:
“We haven’t got [a relationship]. It ended on 20 June when I flew back from Canada.”
Photo by Theophile Escargot via Flickr under a Creative Commons licencee