3 Wives Greet British Man After Surgery

The Associated Press
Thursday, August 11, 2005; 10:20 PM

LONDON -- Some people bring flowers. But when Melvyn Reed's three wives showed up to visit him at the hospital, they brought the unexpected end to his years as a bigamist.

British police confirmed Thursday that after Melvyn Reed's marital affairs took a turn for a worse as he recovered from triple bypass surgery _ all three of his spouses had turned up at the same time, despite his efforts to stagger their visits.

Media reports say that the wives quickly realized that they were all married to the same man.

The 59-year-old company director from Kettering in central England turned himself in May, telling police he was married to three women at the same time, and confessing to bigamy, illegal in Britain, London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Reed was with his attorney when he turned himself in and confessed in Wimbledon, south London.

He pleaded guilty July 19 to two charges of bigamy and was given a four-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay $126 in costs, police said.

It wasn't immediately possible to reach Reed or his three wives. Reed's lawyer, Laurence Grant, also could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Metropolitan Police said Reed married his first wife, Jean Grafton, in 1966, then left her without divorcing her. He went on to marry Denise Harrington in 1998, then married Lyndsey Hutchinson in 2003.

The Metropolitan Police said Harrington and Hutchinson have since sought advice on getting their marriages annulled. But media reports say lawyers have advised the women that their marriages were never valid.

© 2005 The Associated Press