A Brit and his Chinese wife are facing up to two years in prison after he became the first foreigner to be charged with bigamy after a lengthy investigation in Guangzhou, Global Times reports.
The Nanfang reported on the story in April, when it first came to light:
It started in 2005, when Jerry (an alias), 48, came to Guangzhou for business. His wife Mary (alias), 49, stayed behind as a housewife in the UK. They had been married for over 20 years and have four children together, Xin Kuai Bao reports. Mary told reporters her husband came to China to work in the freight business.
Shortly after arriving Jerry met Luo Ting (alias). He mentioned to his wife at home that he had met this woman, who he said was an indispensable help for his work. Mary visited Guangzhou and met Luo Ting in the early days, so Luo Ting was aware that Jerry was married with kids.
In October 2006, Jerry went back home. Mary read Jerry and Luo Ting’s chat records by chance, and found piles of their intimate pictures in his computer. The two referred to each other as “husband” and “wife”. She kept all the evidence and had a fight with her husband before he flew back to China. At that time, Luo Ting was pregnant with their first child. They would end up having a second as well.
In March 2012, Mary entrusted her lawyer Wang Li to report the case to the Guangzhou Police Department. As this is the first bigamy case in Guangzhou related to foreigners, it took many months for the process to slumber on. Early this year, Jerry was finally arrested by the Guangzhou Police and Luo Ting was released on bail to look after her young kids.
Wang Li told reporters that once the jury finds Jerry guilty of bigamy, he will probably not be allowed to enter China again. It also won’t be easy for Luo Ting to visit the UK. Therefore, it’s expected the family will be split.
Jerry is actually Jim Smith, who’s 48 years old. Him and his Chinese wife were charged at the Yuexiu District procuratorate this month after Smith’s wife of 22 years filed charges against the couple.
These charges have been a long time coming.