Beds, Herts & Bucks

Las Vegas wedding bigamist Garry Floodgate jailed

Garry Floodgate
Image caption Garry Floodgate had met his third wife on the internet

A man who wed his Canadian bride in Las Vegas while still married to a woman in England has been jailed for 20 weeks.

Garry Floodgate, 54, was caught after his wife saw photographs of the US ceremony on Facebook, Northampton magistrates heard.

The plant driver, of Sandown Court, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, admitted bigamy at an earlier hearing.

He told the court: "I thought I was divorced. I made a mistake. I had no intention of breaking the law."

Magistrates heard Floodgate was still legally married to 26-year-old Rachel when he wed 55-year-old Sheila Siebert at the Circus Circus Hotel on 5 June.

Rachel Floodgate called police when the photographs appeared on Facebook.

Decree nisi

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor John Cavener said: "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."

The court heard Floodgate divorced his first wife, Elizabeth, when he met Rachel in 2003.

They married in 2004 and had two daughters, but separated in November 2010.

Mr Cavener said Rachel began divorce proceedings the following March, with a decree nisi granted on 13 June 2012 - eight days after the Vegas wedding.

Relationship 'ended'

The decree absolute was granted in July.

The court heard Rachel was contacted by the third Mrs Floodgate, of Calgary, Canada, who realised her marriage to Mr Floodgate was void.

"She is now attempting to get the US marriage annulled, " said Mr Cavener.

Floodgate said he had received documents from the court which he believed showed he was divorced by the time he flew to Vegas.

He went on: "I was just confused. I had lots of things going on in my head."

Asked about his relationship with Ms Siebert, he said: "We haven't got one.

"It ended on 20 June when I flew back from Canada."

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