Wigan man accused of bigamy

A Wigan man has appeared in court accused of being married to two different women at the same time.

Stephen Ainscough faces one count of “going through a form of marriage” in October 2017, while still married to his first wife - the crime more commonly known as bigamy.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place

The 54-year-old, from The Green in Pemberton, pleaded not guilty at a short hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address, and to enter his plea.

He will reappear at the same courthouse for a pre-trial hearing on February 28.

Bigamy is a statutory offence in England and Wales, under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. And until 2014, it was only a common law offence in Scotland.

It is a crime that can be prosecuted at either Crown Court with a judge and jury, or a Magistrates’ Court.

Someone found guilty of such an offence can face a prison sentence of up to seven years, or as little as a fine.