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My bigamist husband is a complete and utter conman and should be in jail

 

My bigamist husband is a complete and utter conman and should be in jail

A wife whose estranged husband tied the knot with another woman while still married to her has told of her anger after he walked free from court.

Tina Pearce said bigamist Simon Keeton should be in jail and described him as ‘a complete and utter conman’.

She had logged on to Facebook on Valentine’s Day this year to find pictures of him marrying again and told police his lavish wedding to third wife Catherine Noble, 54, was illegal.

Last week a judge at Chester Crown Court handed Keeton, 47, who has 15 previous convictions for deception, a four-month jail term suspended for 12 months and a £500 fine after he admitted bigamy.

But Miss Pearce, 46, said on Sunday: ‘He should have gone to prison. It’s like he’s got away with it, but that’s just like him.

'He’s the type that falls in a bucket of manure and comes up smelling of roses. Looking back I don’t think I ever knew who he was, he lied to me the whole time I was with him.

‘When I saw the pictures of him getting married on Valentine’s Day I was shocked. I was so angry and upset. He’s a complete and utter conman.’

Healthcare worker Miss Pearce, who has two children from a previous relationship, met Keeton in January 2008 on dating website Plenty of Fish.

She admitted she was taken in by the former professional snooker player, and within two months he had moved into her home in Gloucester and proposed.

‘He had a nice picture on his profile - people said he looked a bit like Shane from Westlife,’ she said.

‘He wrote that he was a genuine, lovely person. He was really trying to emphasise how he is in touch with his feelings.

‘He messaged me and we started texting and chatting a lot. I thought he sounded like a nice, genuine chap.

‘We went out for coffee and hit it off. It was all a bit of a whirlwind from there.

‘He was loving and funny. He had a really good sense of humour. He was charming and had the gift of the gab – he was brilliant at making anyone believe anything.’

But, Miss Pearce said, she should have realised he was using her for money when she had to stump up the cash to pay for her own £900 diamond engagement ring.

She also forked out thousands for their wedding at Gloucester registry office, in front of 30 guests in October 2008 – just a month after Keeton got a quickie divorce from his first wife.

Her friends and family, including her daughter Jessica Hayes, 24, who last week won £25,000 after being crowned the winner of ITV’s reality television programme Love Island, also warned her against Keeton.

‘He was a plasterer but was always struggling for work so had no money,’ Miss Pearce said.

‘The wedding cost a couple of thousand pounds and on top of that I paid for a honeymoon to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

‘I also paid for two holidays for us both, to Tenerife and Ibiza for my 40th birthday. I even bought him a car, which cost £3,000, because he said he needed it to get to and from work.

‘In the end, I think he must have swindled me out of £25,000. But he always kept promising to pay me back, he was really clever about it. He always talked his way out of things.

‘Everybody always thought he was up to something. Jess thought he was horrendous. People used to say, “God, you’d better watch him”. I was gullible and stupid. I just kept thinking things would improve.

‘He would tell me I was beautiful and write poems to me and all that, but all throughout the marriage he was disappearing and lying to me.

‘He would say he was going to visit family or friends or that he had to do a job somewhere. It wasn’t unusual for him to be away for three days at a time.

‘I now wonder if he had another woman or family elsewhere. After a while, I wised up to it and told him that I wanted out.’

Miss Pearce kicked him out in January 2010 and didn’t hear from Keeton until October last year when she received a solicitor’s letter asking her for a divorce.

She initially refused because she wanted financial compensation for the money she spent while they were together.

By then Keeton was in a serious relationship with Mrs Noble, herself a divorcee with two daughters.

The couple had already been to the register office in Mrs Noble’s home town of Warrington, Cheshire, to give notice that they intended to marry.

The court heard that Keeton told the registrar of his first marriage to Susan Howard, who he married aged 29 and was with for 10 years, but failed to mention anything about his marriage to Miss Pearce.

Eventually, in January, Miss Pearce agreed to a divorce but the papers had not even been submitted when, less than a month later, she saw pictures of Keeton marrying Mrs Noble on Facebook.

‘It’s upset me massively,’ Miss Pearce said. ‘It just completely ruined my trust in people.

‘I haven’t been able to have a relationship since. I’ve been traumatised and I have been put off men for life.

‘Part of the reason I didn’t want him to get away with it is that I don’t want him to do to Catherine what he did to me.

‘But it looks like he has charmed her because she has already forgiven him – he’ s the one still laughing and in a new relationship while I’m still suffering.’

The court heard Mrs Noble told police she knew of Keeton’s relationship with Miss Pearce but thought it was ‘null and void’ because they had not been together for five years.

The couple, who declined to speak to the Daily Mail, are planning a legal ceremony once Keeton’s divorce comes through later in the year.

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