Tory council leader convicted of bigamy after suspicious second wife hires private detective to investigate his past
A married Tory councillor who took a second wife after convincing her he was divorced has escaped jail despite being convicted of bigamy. Pervez Choudhry, 54, was caught out when his new wife hired a private detective to investigate him after a remark from a relative aroused her suspicions.
Dr Zabina Shahian, a GP, discovered that when Choudhry married her in Pakistan in December 2010 he had been legally married to his first cousin Hameda Daulat since 1986.
The career politician, former leader of Slough borough council’s Conservative Party, had told Dr Shahian about his first wife, but had convinced her that he was no longer married by showing her court papers about custody hearings regarding their three children, Reading Crown Court heard.
When Dr Shahian discovered the deception she ended their relationship and subsequently suffered a miscarriage.
The disgraced politician was fined L750 on Friday and ordered to pay L4,000 compensation to Dr Shahian.
Judge Ian Grainger told him: ‘You have served your community well, in particular as a councillor and at one stage as leader of the Conservative group.
‘This offence is a serious blemish on that character. Bigamy is in no sense a private matter. The rule .?.?. is a simple one – one spouse at a time.
‘Whatever cultural roots that rule may have, there’s practical wisdom in that rule.’
After the case Choudhry, who plans to appeal, claimed he had been forced to get engaged to his first wife when he was 11 and she was just a baby.
The marriage went ahead, he claimed, because it was his mother’s dying wish, but he said it was unhappy despite the best efforts of his partner.
He added: ‘We kept the first marriage for our children because
there’s a stigma attached to families that divorce, but we went our separate ways’.
After meeting Dr Shahian, he said that within hours ‘she had made up her mind that I was the person she was waiting for.’
He added: ‘This has brought up one thing – this is always going to be a problem being a Muslim.