An Exeter man who pleaded guilty to the charge of bigamy did not realise his first divorce had not been completed, his lawyer says.
In December 2008, Adam Moore married Lyndsay Haywood. The fact that he had not divorced his first wife was not discovered until his second marriage broke down.
When Ms Haywood was looking to separate from Mr Moore, she made inquiries about his previous divorce. It was then she discovered that, while he had been granted a decree nisi, he had not obtained a decree absolute, which is the last step in getting a divorce.
As a result of Mr Moore’s failure to complete his divorce, Ms Haywood “never was a wife in the eyes of the law”.
Katrina Byrne represented Mr Moore at the Torquay Magistrates’ Court. She said that, despite the fact that he admitted to bigamy, it had not been “an outright deception”.
Prosecutor Chris Bittlestone said that bigamy was very rare in the UK. He added that he had only prosecuted three cases in 27 years.
Mr Moore was granted unconditional bail until the case resumes in February.
In 2013, a lorry driver received a three month suspended sentence for bigamy. Earlier that year, a woman in Hampshire received a similar sentence after it was revealed she had not received decree absolute before getting married again.
Photo of Torquay by mariusz kluzniak via Flickr