Ex-church minister guilty of bigamy

Katie Dawson,Pa
Thursday 13 November 2008 16:10

A former church minister was found guilty today of entering into a bigamous marriage.

Roderick Sangster, 58, wed Janet Pollard while still married to his wife Jill Sangster, leaving them both thousands of pounds in debt.

Sangster, who has not been present during the trial, denied a charge of bigamy and a charge of forgery.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty on both counts after deliberating for around two hours.

There were cries of joy from the public gallery, where Sangster's three "wives" - Frances Tait, Jill Sangster and Janet Wallace - were sitting.

Judge Marten Coates adjourned sentencing to give police time to find Sangster, who did not turn up to his trial.

The court heard that a bench warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Prosecutor David Jones said: "We do not know where he has gone. Extensive inquiries have been made."

Speaking outside the court, Ms Sangster, to whom he is still legally married, said: "It's just the start. We need to find him now."

Janet Wallace, formerly Pollard, whom Sangster married illegally, said: "I'm just delighted. I've come through this and my life is good.

"I will be delighted when he is brought to justice."

Detective Sergeant Cawail Wong, from Warwickshire Police, urged Sangster to hand himself in.

He said: "This has been a long investigation. The family and police are pleased with the outcome.

"At this moment in time they just want to move on with their lives and ask that their right to privacy is respected.

"If Mr Sangster is reading about the case, then we ask him to hand himself in to the police or myself."

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