Sunday 23 October 2016

Bigamist’s double life foiled after appearing in an Ice Bucket Challenge video with another wife

Published 17/04/2015 | 14:08


A bigamist has been jailed for eight months in the UK after he was tagged in an Ice Bucket Challenge video on Facebook, which unveiled his second marriage.

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Andrew O’Clee (36) was married Michelle in 2008 but also wed a second bride Phillipa in 2011, despite never having filed divorce papers.

Mr O’Clee forged divorce papers which lead his family to believe that he had legally ended his marriage to Michelle, with whom he has a child.

The bigamist additionally told Michelle that he had been involved in a fraud case which meant he would have to go into witness protection and be away from home for periods of time.

O’Clee’s double life came crashing down when his first wife Michelle saw a Facebook video in which Andrew was mentioned in a caption that read ‘Uncle Andrew and Auntie Phillipa’.

This lead to Michelle’s discovery of Andrew’s wedding photos with his second wife Phillipa, which he had shared on the social network.

O’Clee was jailed for eight months at Chichester Crown Court this week.

Speaking to the court Michelle said: "Thinking back, as I do every single minute of every single day, I had no reason not to trust Andrew. In 2012, he told me he had a new job and work was involved in fraudulent issues.

"I was told he would have to be taken to a safe house with his colleagues for his and my own safety. He was taken to a safe house every night and I wasn't allowed to know the location.

"I was told by him not to tell my family or friends. I became paranoid and constantly fearful for my safety. Looking back, I feel completely stupid and naive for not thinking something was wrong. I believed my life was in danger."

Judge Christopher Parker who saw over the case said: "You began to develop a complicated and absurd lie. "All of which was a complete nonsense, but it enabled you to lead a double life.

"The question is, why on earth would you do it? You are a shameless liar, happy to have as much comfort wherever you could find it.

"Bigamy is an offence against the institution of marriage, an institution founded on complete trust. This was simply a selfish act."

O’Clee’s defense sited abandonment issues as a reason for double life lead by his client who was accompanied in court by Phillipa despite the fact that their marriage is void.

The bigamist has since deleted his Facebook page and removed the incriminating video from the web.

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