Bigamist jailed after first wife uncovered his second family when he was tagged on Facebook – doing the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
A bigamist has been jailed after his first wife uncovered his secret second family when he was tagged on Facebook – doing an ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE.
Serial cheat Andrew O’Clee, 36, was married to Michelle – but also tied the knot with a second wife Philippa.
He forged a decree absolute to show his family so his mum and brother believed he had divorced Michelle and they happily attended his second wedding.
O’Clee then told his first wife he was involved in a fraud case and had to enter the Witness Protection Program which would keep him away from home for long periods.
He even showed up briefly five hours late at the birth of their child – cut the umbilical cord and said he had to leave with police.
But O’Clee’s web of “lies and forgery” caught up with him after four years when he was tagged in a Facebook post.
A video of his ice bucket challenge appeared on social media captioned “uncle Andrew and auntie Philippa” – which was seen by Michelle.
She then unearthed photos of his second wedding on Facebook and reported it to police.
O’Clee, of Chiddingfold, Surrey, was jailed for eight months at Chichester Crown Court for bigamy.
Judge Christopher Parker QC 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 met Michelle in 2000 and they married in 2008, and began his affair with second wife in 2011 – while he and Michelle were still trying for a BABY.
He then told her he had seen a fraud and was in Witness Protection as his life was in danger – and he had to spend long periods in a safe house.
Michelle told the court: “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.”
Michelle went into labour 18 months after he began his safe-house lie and he turned up to the birth five hours late.
He cut the umbilical cord and left saying police were waiting to take him to safety.
She added: “The day I found out about the bigamy was the day my world fell apart and the violent betrayal unfolded.”
She later saw the Facebook post and then unearthed photos of his second wedding on social media and reported it to police before he was arrested in August 2014.
Defending, Patrick Duffy said: “It’s hard to answer. He has abandonment issues. When he was 15 his mother and father broke up.
“There isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t regret the stupidity of his actions.”
He added that Philippa wished to carry on her relationship with the cheat.
O’Clee admitted to one count of bigamy and is expected to serve half of his sentence in custody.