– lands in court on bigamy charge
Michael Taylor, an airport ramp attendant of Lot 1 Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara is facing a possible seven years in prison after being charged yesterday with bigamy.
Taylor appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan to answer to the allegation of marrying one woman while still married to another.
The charges were filed under the Section 83(1) of Criminal Law (Offences) Act, which stipulates, “Everyone, who being married, marries any other person during the life of the former husband or wife, whether the marriage takes place in Guyana or elsewhere, shall be guilty of a felony and liable to a term of imprisonment for seven years.”
Taylor, 38, pleaded not guilty to the offence. He was represented by counsel who made an application for bail and told the court that her client is a law-abiding citizen, and a father of two, who had no knowledge of the crime.
The lawyer claimed that client was unaware that he is still married to his first wife due to fact that she promised to divorce him before he moved out their marital home sometime ago. However, the lawyer admitted there was no record before the court to show the couple had ever filed for a divorce.
The charges were against Taylor after his first wife, who appeared in court yesterday, found out about her husband’s wedding last February and notified the General Registrar’s Office (GRO).
After the hearing, she told Kaieteur News that she reported her husband to the authorities after she found out that he had remarried without divorcing her. She claimed to have married Taylor in 2015. The couple has two children and reportedly lived together five years before they split.
The woman claimed that her husband moved out of their Timehri, East Bank Demerara home last November and went to live with his girlfriend at Soesdyke. The couple reportedly separated after the wife confronted her husband about his infidelity.
However, the wife found out about her husband’s second marriage, months after he moved out from a mutual friend. According to the woman, “De person call me and say you deh home and your husband have big wedding going on.”
Naturally shocked at the news, the woman said that she started to investigate the claims
“I went all over to find out and if there is anything I could do,” she told this paper, “Then a lawyer advised me to go to GPO to the Registrar’s Office and find out if they were married legally.”
As instructed, the wife visited the registrar’s office and presented her marriage certificate. She said that soon after, officials at the GRO uncovered another marriage certificate in the name of her husband and his new wife. According to the woman, the second marriage was registered in January 2020.
She said that she learnt from the Head of the GRO Mr. [Louis] Crawford that a crime had been committed and that the matter would be forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force. She said that she was later contacted by the department to give a statement, which she did. Subsequently, her husband was charged with bigamy and placed before the court.
Following yesterday’s hearing before the Chief Magistrate, Taylor was released on $50,000 bail. His matter was transferred to another Court for trial and he was instructed to return to court on July 9, 2020.
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