Wattisham Airfield corporal Ross McCready admits bigamously marrying woman after failing to divorce first wife

Ross McCready leaving Ipswich magistrates' court.

Ross McCready leaving Ipswich magistrates' court. - Credit: Staff

A Suffolk soldier has admitted bigamously marrying a second ‘wife’ after failing to get a divorce from his first wife for more than a decade.

Ross McCready leaving Ipswich magistrates' court.

Ross McCready leaving Ipswich magistrates' court. - Credit: Staff

Corporal Ross McCready, 38, who is based at Wattisham Airfield and has served in the Armed Forces for 18 years, was fined £1,500 at Ipswich magistrates’ court after admitting bigamy yesterday.

McCready married his first wife, whose full name was not disclosed, in December 2000 but they separated in November 2002.

The relationship did not “survive the trauma” of nine miscarriages, Sue Threadkell, representing McCready, said.

His first wife asked for a divorce several times but he refused. He then returned home from a six-month deployment in Afghanistan to find she had moved out, magistrates heard.

Mrs Threadkell said: “He did not seek out his wife or the fundamental divorce.” She said he had been guilty of “burying his head in the sand to a level that was incomprehensible”.

In 2007, McCready began a relationship with his future second wife, Gemma Halliday.

Most Read

Prosecutor Lesla Small said: “They got engaged and started to make plans to marry.”

She said McCready had told Ms Halliday that he had previously been married, and that Ms Halliday believed that the marriage had been dissolved.

Mrs Small said McCready had returned back from another six-month deployment in Afghanistan to find that Ms Halliday had “organised a lot” for their wedding and that he “simply (got) swept along” and “did not know what to say or what to do”.

Mrs Small added: “He agreed at that point he should have done something, but didn’t.”

They were married in April 2013 in Woodbridge. The court was told Ms Halliday developed doubts over his divorce and confronted him. He admitted he had not divorced legally from his first wife. The matter was reported to police last November.

The court was told McCready, who moved out of the family home, and Ms Halliday have a four-year-old daughter together, but have civil, daily contact.

Mrs Threadkell said McCready admits Ms Halliday was “let down”, and felt “bereaved”.

McCready has been demoted from sergeant to corporal and received support for a “breakdown”, the court heard.

He was ordered to pay £85 in court costs and £150 victim surcharge.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter