Weston bigamist avoids jail sentence

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

A BIGAMIST has avoided jail after divorcing his first wife eight years into his second marriage.

A BIGAMIST has avoided jail after divorcing his first wife eight years into his second marriage.

Ernest Lawrence, who lives on Weston's Bournville estate pleaded guilty to the offence at Worcester Magistrates Court last week.

The 63-year-old married his second wife, Pauline Smith, in Droitwich in November 1991.

But the Baildon Road resident had not filed for divorce from his first wife and the papers only came through in July 1999.

Lawrence had previously married in 1964, although he declared himself a bachelor on his second marriage certificate.

After separating from his first wife in 1990, he changed his name from Steele to Lawrence via deed poll.

The truth about Lawrence's marriage history only came to light when Ms Smith filed for divorce in 2007.

For the charge, Lawrence was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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