Apr 30, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Michael Taylor, 38, the airport ramp attendant who was found guilty of marrying twice, was yesterday fined $100,000 or in default will spend 12 months in prison for the offence.
Taylor, of Lot 1 Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, was charged last year for bigamy and the case tried in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Rondell Weever, who handed down the sentencing. Bigamy is the offence of marrying someone while already being married to another and this is Guyana’s first bigamy case.
This publication had reported that Taylor’s first wife, with whom he shares two children, had gotten married in 2015. They had reportedly lived together for five years before separating because of his infidelity.
During November 2019, Taylor had reportedly moved out of the home and went to live with his girlfriend at Soesdyke. Two months later, Taylor reportedly got married to his girlfriend while still being married to his first wife.
Taylor’s first wife had told this publication that she found out about her husband’s second marriage from a mutual friend, months after he had moved out. According to the woman, “De person call me and say you deh home and your husband have big wedding going on.” The woman had stated that she was shocked when she heard the news. She added, “I went all over to find out if there is anything I could do,” and “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 General Registrar’s Office (GRO) 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. She said that she learnt from the Head of the GRO that a crime had been committed and that the matter would be forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force. Taylor was later charged with bigamy and placed before the court.
On his first court appearance Taylor appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. He had denied the charge which stated that he got married to another woman while still being married to another. The charge was filed under Section 83(1) of the 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.”
The court had heard that Taylor had no knowledge of the crime and that he was unaware that he is still married to his first wife due to the fact, that she promised to divorce him before he moved out of their marital home. However, Taylor’s lawyer on a previous occasion had admitted that there is no record before the court to show the couple had ever filed for a divorce.
The matter was later transferred to Magistrate Weever’s courtroom for trial. After the trial Magistrate Weever ruled that the prosecution had provided enough evidence to show that Taylor did in fact commit bigamy. The matter was then adjourned to yesterday’s date for sentencing to be handed down. The Magistrate subsequently fined Taylor $100,000, or if he fails to pay his fine he will have to serve 12 months in prison.
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