Posted by Simon Bassett, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Bigamist avoids prison after Judge accepts she ‘forgot’ to get divorced
A Judge at Lincoln Crown Court decided against sending a woman to prison despite the fact that she entered a second marriage while still married to her first husband.
43-year-old Faith Jenkinson married her first husband in 1994, but following the death of their daughter, she issued a divorce petition in 2000.
However, the decree absolute was never completed, meaning that she was still married when she went on to wed her second partner in 2010.
The fact that Ms Jenkinson had committed bigamy was only highlighted when her second husband made the discovery and subsequently reported her offence.
In a statement made to the police, Ms Jenkinson claimed that she believed she was free to marry again after issuing the divorce petition for her first marriage. In the defence put forward at Lincoln Crown Court, David Eager said: “She assumed having instructed a solicitor in 2000 and having issued a petition it would have gone through.”
Ms Jenkinson admitted a single charge of bigamy and was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
She was also ordered to devote 150 hours of her time to carrying out unpaid work in the local community.
Judge John Pini QC said he did not believe it was in the public interest to send her to jail, adding that: “I am satisfied that during that marriage ceremony you did not fully understand that you were still married.
“I am just prepared to accept there was some confusion in your mind.”
Ms Jenkinson and her second husband have a three-year-old daughter together, but they are no longer in a relationship.
At Royds, our experienced family law department are able to advise on all aspects of the divorce process. We will work closely with clients to achieve the best possible outcome. For more information, please visit or contact Patrick Hart.