Two husbands have become best friends after discovering a “destructive” secret about their marriages.
Peter Sherratt married the love of his life, Karen, in 2006 after she divorced her first husband.
But Peter was unaware that Karen Sherratt married another man, Christopher Thomas, in 2012 when she was still married to him.
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After her lie was exposed, Karen was charged with bigamy, the crime of marrying one person while still married to another, and jailed for four months.
Now Peter and Christopher, who were banned from speaking while Karen’s case was heard in court, are best friends enjoying a beer together.
“Some may find it strange that we get along so well,” Peter said.
“But we had an ex-wife in common, we also had an experience in common, it was quite clear that we had this communication experience and we were going to be friends for a long time.
“She fascinated us both, and our close friendship was the result of that.”
After Karen married Peter in 2006, she became suspicious of their joint bank account, which was often overdrawn.
“He told me a lot of petty lies about where he was and what he was doing,” Peter said.
“Our shared accounts have always been empty and I have really struggled with financial issues to keep us afloat.
“When I asked her about our money problems, she was evasive and cool. She always hid things from me. “
Peter eventually left Karen at his family’s home, but the couple never divorced.
In 2012, Karen met ex-serviceman Christopher on a dating site and just seven months later, the couple married in a hotel.
Christopher said his new wife gave the impression that she had “a lot of secrets”, but, blinded by love, he put aside his fears.
Her deception was discovered in 2013 when Christopher stumbled upon a divorce petition from her marriage to Peter.
The heartbroken husband put them on the kitchen table for Karen to find and left the family home.
“All the annoyances and suspicions came to a head as soon as I found this document,” Christopher recalled.
“At that moment, I knew that our entire relationship was a lie.”
Christopher called Peter and the police to report Karen for bigamy after discovering that she had uploaded his picture to a dating site a few days later.
Their marriage was null and void when the bomb was dropped.
During sentencing, Karen was called “deceitful and dishonest.”
“Bigamy is obviously a serious crime that goes beyond the essence of the marriage system,” registrar IWL Jones said.
“You cried during this hearing, but I am by no means convinced that you have regretted it.”