Yvonne and Maurice Gibney had been married for 17 years but were living apart, as Mr Gibney was in Oman for work. Although Yvonne heard whisperings of her husband's possible infidelity online, she was sure it was gossip.
However, in reality, the court heard the 49-year-old oil worker was living a double life with teacher Suzanne Prudhoe, 46.
Yvonne's worst fears were then confirmed when she spotted photos of Gibney getting hitched on a sandy beach. In the pictures, place settings reading 'The groom Maurice' and 'The bride Suzanne' could be made out.
It later emerged Gibney and Suzanne had been together for at least 18 months before they tied-the-knot at the Oman British Embassy last year. Their ceremony cost a whopping £45,000.
The day before the illegal marriage, Yvonne had exchanged several emails with her husband over domestic issues such as new bed linen. On the day of the wedding, she attempted to contact Gibney but the court heard he claimed to be "unwell".
Gibney had even lied to his own mother, who led him down the aisle, after convincing her he was already divorced from Yvonne.
Yvonne, a nurse who met Gibney in Nigeria 20 years ago, told Wirral Magistrates Court: "I loved him unconditionally. I simply don't have the words to effectively convey the pain and hurt and sense of betrayal."
She added: "I had no knowledge of Suzanne Prudhoe's existence or relationship with my husband."
Gibney told the court he thought he could marry, as he had begun divorce proceedings with his wife. After pleading guilty to bigamy, he was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
District Judge Michael Abelson told the defendant: "You initiated into a bigamous marriage, you knew precisely what you were doing at the time you did it, there was no hiding it."
The Gibneys have now divorced and the parents of Miss Prudhoe have refused to comment on the incident.
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