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Norwich bigamist jailed for four months

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 July 2010

Bigamist Michael Whatmough

Bigamist Michael Whatmough

David Bale

A bigamist who was married to two Norfolk women at the same time has been sentenced to four months in jail - after being arrested last month following four years on the run.

A bigamist who was married to two Norfolk women at the same time has been sentenced to four months in jail - after being arrested last month following four years on the run.

Father-of-seven Michael Whatmough, who at one time worked at the Norfolk Bowls Club in Unthank Road, Norwich with third wife Carolyn, was arrested by officers at Heathrow Airport as he returned to the country after a holiday in Hong Kong with his latest fiancée.

He had fled his Swansea home for Scotland but following his detention was brought back before Swansea magistrates who heard he had completed just four hours of the 180-hour community order he was given in 2005, after it was revealed he had married Carolyn while still married to second wife Melanie.

He was remanded in custody and yesterday appeared at Swansea Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching his community punishment order.

Judge Peter Heywood sentenced the 61-year-old to four months behind bars, with the 53 days he had spent on remand to count against the total.Whatmough's double life only came to light when his third wife, Carolyn, filed for divorce.

The couple had met after she responded to his advert in the lonely hearts section of a Suffolk newspaper. The couple married and settled down in Norwich, where they became live-in employees at the Norfolk Bowls Club.

However, he later left her, and while she was trying to track him down to serve divorce papers she found the address of a woman called Melanie.

The two women talked, and it emerged that the former Army chef had still been married to Melanie when he married Carolyn.

Melanie, who had been a dinner lady at West Flegg Middle School in Martham, had been married to him for 14 years.

She had married him in Boughton, near King's Lynn, after meeting in Brighton where she was living and working, and the couple had four children together. Whatmough also had three children with his first wife.

Speaking after his initial conviction, Carolyn told the Evening News she met Whatmough through a singles ad in December 2000, and, after a month, he moved from Martham to her Felixstowe home.

Carolyn said: “He was a real gentleman when I met him. He told me he was an Army chef and that he'd only left the Army when he was 40. I have since found out he had only been in the Army for two years, so it was all lies.”

Neither Melanie nor their daughter Amy wished to comment, when the Evening News rang last night.

Have you been a victim of bigamy? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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