Bigamist to be released from jail early after sentence appeal

Garry Floodgate
Garry Floodgate

Teddy Boy Garry Floodgate, who married his Canadian bride in Vegas while he still had a wife back home in Wellingborough, has had his jail sentence cut.

Garry, 54, who was caught after pictures of the wedding in the chapel at the Circus Circus hotel were spotted on Facebook, was jailed for 20 weeks by magistrates last month.

But after an appeal at Northampton crown court, Judge Michael Fowler reduced the sentence to 12 weeks, which means he will be free next week.

The plant driver, who has sported a quiff since the age of three, thought that when he wed divorcee Sheila Siebert, 55, last June his divorce had come through.

When the wedding pictures appeared on Facebook the police were called because he was still legally married to his now ex-wife Rachel, 26, now of Washbrook Road, Rushden. When Sheila found the truth she ditched Garry as well.

Garry, of Sandown Court, Bletchley, Bucks pleaded guilty to committing bigamy on 5 June last year.

At Northampton crown court on Thursday his lawyer Alex Radley argued that the magistrates had not taken into account Gary’s immediate admissions to the police. He said his client had made a mistake and had honestly believed his divorced from Rachel had come through.

At an earlier hearing in Wellingborough 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.”

Garry had been married to his first wife Elizabeth. They have a daughter, who is 17. They were divorced when he met Rachel, in 2003.

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

Mr Cavener said in March 2011 Rachel began divorce proceedings. A decree nisi was granted on 13 June 2012 - eight days after the Vegas wedding. On 26 July 2012 the decree absolute was granted by Milton Keynes county court.

He said that after pictures of the Vegas wedding appeared on Facebook Rachel called the police. She was contacted by Mrs Siebert,the third wife from Calgary, Canada, who asked questions. Rachel pointed out that she was still legally married to Garry.

“It became clear to the third wife that the marriage was void. She is now attempting to get the US marriage annulled, “ said the prosecutor.

Garry told the court: “I thought I was divorced. I made a mistake. I had no intention of breaking the law.”

He 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 Sheila, he said: “We haven’t got one. It ended on 20 June when I flew back from Canada.”