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Bigamy

Title: Public nuisance
Offence: Bigamy
Legislation: Section 57 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861
Commencement Date:
Mode of Trial: Either Way
Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: 7 years or a fine or both
Sentencing Range:

Aggravating & Mitigating Factors

  • Level of injury caused
  • Deliberate avoidance of immigration

Relevant Sentencing Case Law

A custodial sentence will be appropriate where one party has been deceived and suffered injury or where offence committed for money to evade immigration.

R v Crowhurst unrep
2 counts of bigamy. One where marriage not consummated and second where wife pregnant. 18 months reduced to 4 on appeal

R v Smith 1994 15 Cr App R (S) 407
D married 3 times. Used divorce papers from 2nd marriage to "marry" 4th wife. Separated after a few months. 6 months approved

R v Cairns [1997] 1 Cr App R (S)
D married 2 women. Both ceremonies for money with a view to women escaping immigration controls. G plea. No pre cons. 9 months

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