Man sentenced for bigamy Slough

21/05/2012

A Slough man has been given a community order and ordered to pay costs for illegally being married to two women at the same time.

Pervez Chaudhry, aged 54, of Tuns Lane, Slough, appeared before Reading Crown Court on Friday 18 May after admitting a charge of bigamy. He was given a community order which consists of a six week curfew, controlled by an electronic tag between 8pm and 6am. The 54-year-old was also ordered to pay a £750 fine and £5,500 costs to include compensation to his second wife.

On 7 April 1986, Chaudhry got married to a woman, now aged 44, at Walsall Register Office in Birmingham and they later had three children together. Despite remaining legally married, the pair, both now living in Slough, separated in 2007 and began living separately.

On 27 December 2008, Chaudhry, who was still legally married to his first wife, visited Pakistan where he got married to a woman, now aged 43, who was under the impression that he had divorced his first wife. The marriage consisted of an Islamic ceremony referred to as a 'Nikah Nimah'.

Chaudhry and his new bride came to the UK shortly afterwards, living separately with the intention of setting up a home together in due course. They maintained regular contact, mainly at weekends and holidays, but in August 2009 the couple separated after she became aware of Chaudhry's first marriage, which was in addition to other issues affecting their relationship. On 17 December, she obtained an annulment of their Islamic marriage, which was granted.

The first wife became aware in December 2008 that Chaudhry had married again and notified police in Slough. Due to difficulties in locating the second wife that investigation proceeded no further. In 2010 the second wife received confirmation that Chaudhry's first marriage had not been terminated by a divorce and contacted Thames Valley Police.

Chaudhry was arrested and charged with bigamy in August 2010. During police interview, Chaudhry admitted taking part in the second marriage ceremony but stated that it was not a registered ceremony, merely a sham wedding to placate his second wifes family. He also told police that his second wife and every member of her family were aware that he was still married at the time, and were happy to proceed with the Islamic ceremony.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Chaudhry maintained that he was not guilty of bigamy despite the strength of the Crown's case against him. After two days of legal arguments, which were robustly dealt with by counsel, he conceded that he had committed the offence."

"Both his wives complained separately to the police about his actions and as a result a decision was made to charge Pervez Chaudhry."

"The case highlighted a difficult and technical area of law. However, the Crown was supported by the excellent officer in the case, Det Sgt Pete Wall, who dealt diligently with all requests from the CPS."

"This was an unusual and complicated case, which has caused both the aggrieved women a significant amount of suffering. It also affected how they were viewed in their community, but they were both supportive of a prosecution in order to see justice done."

"I hope that today's sentence offers them some comfort and closure, so that they can move on with their lives. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."