Wife discovers her husband of 17 years has secretly married another woman in £45,000 wedding ceremony after she sees photos of them kissing on Facebook

Yvonne Gibney (pictured) found out her husband of 17 years had secretly married another woman via Facebook

 

  • Yvonne Gibney, 55, had been married to Maurice Gibney for 17 years
  • Her oil-contractor husband had been living in Oman because of work
  • She saw comments on his Facebook and followed them to a woman’s profile
  • There she found pictures of them kissing and wearing wedding clothes
  • She discovered couple had married in a lavish £45,000 ceremony in Oman
  • Father-of-three Gibney pleaded guilty to bigamy at Wirral Magistrates’ Court

A wife discovered her husband of 17 years had secretly married another woman in a lavish £45,000 ceremony  – after she saw the new couple kissing on Facebook.

Yvonne Gibney, 55, had been married to globe-trotting oil contractor Maurice Gibney for the best part of two decades. 

But it was only when she checked Facebook and saw photographs of Mr Gibney, 49, dressed in a wedding suit and cuddling teacher Suzanne Prudhoe, that she learned that her husband – and father to her son – had married another woman.

The mother-of-two soon discovered that her husband had not only married again during an expensive ceremony surrounded by palm trees in Oman – but that he had actually tied the knot 11 months earlier.

She learned that his family  – who were told that Mr and Mrs Gibney were divorced – had also attended the wedding held at the British embassy in the Arab state, and that her mother-in-law had walked her husband down the aisle.

She then hunted around for more information about the lavish ceremony, before going to police with evidence of his bigamous marriage.

The father-of-three, who lives and works as a senior contractor for Oman Oil, pleaded guilty to bigamy at Wirral Magistrates’ Court. He was handed a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

In an emotional statement read out in court, Mrs Gibney revealed that in the run-up to the bigamous wedding, her husband had even cheated on her at Christmas when she had flown out to see him in Oman.

He falsely claimed he had to go away ‘on business’ – but instead he flew back to the the UK to be with Miss Prudhoe.

Mrs Gibney said: ‘I loved him unconditionally and believed that love was reciprocated. I simply don’t have the words to effectively convey the pain and hurt and sense of betrayal. I have to accept that my husband was unfaithful emotionally and physically for a prolonged period of time.’

Earlier Mrs Gibney told the court she had met her husband – who she said has a tax-free salary of £85k when she was deployed to Nigeria almost two decades ago. 

But unbeknown to her, over the years Gibney had spun a web of lies claiming that he had divorced her, telling his family and Miss Prudhoe they had kept the split secret for the sake of their children.

He also had claimed Mrs Gibney was ‘crazy’ and had urged his family not to have any contact with them.

In Christmas 2011 she visited Oman with their son to see Gibney but he said he had to leave them to due to business commitments. He then left his wife and son in Oman to travel back to the UK to spend Christmas with Miss Prudhoe in Stourbridge, near Birmingham.

He did not rejoin his family until December 27, at which point they opened their Christmas presents. 

Mrs Gibney added: ‘He said it was due to pressures of work. The reality was to conceal the relationship and holiday with her.

Mrs Gibney, 55, had been married to globe-trotting oil contractor Maurice Gibney for 17 years.  She found online photographs of Mr Gibney (pictured), 49, dressed in a wedding suit and cuddling teacher Suzanne Prudhoe

Mrs Gibney, 55, had been married to globe-trotting oil contractor Maurice Gibney for 17 years.  She found online photographs of Mr Gibney (pictured), 49, dressed in a wedding suit and cuddling teacher Suzanne Prudhoe

‘I have tried to understand Maurice’s actions. Let alone planning it and going to such extremes. Maurice gave the impression that he was fully committed to our marriage,’

The following year he claimed he would spent Christmas with his family but pulled out citing depression.

She added: ‘He agreed to come home on the 27th and told my son of the plans but never arrived. Naturally I was very worried and thought he must be very depressed. Christmas was not good for us.

‘He actually spent that Christmas in the UK with Suzanne Prudhoe with both his and Suzanne’s family.’

Photographs showed a grinning Gibney kissing Miss Prudhoe (pictured) who was sporting a white wedding dress

Photographs showed a grinning Gibney kissing Miss Prudhoe (pictured) who was sporting a white wedding dress

Mrs Gibney said the couple eventually agreed to divorce, but last February – a week before details were to be agreed – she spotted comments about her husband on Facebook and traced them to Miss Prudhoe’s profile, leading her to discover he had illegally married Miss Prudhoe on March 20, 2013.

Photographs of the event showed a grinning Gibney in open-necked shirt, cream jacket and slacks kissing Miss Prudhoe who was sporting a white wedding dress.

The wedding invitations simply said: ‘The groom Maurice’ and ‘The bride Suzanne’ March 2013. Other photos showed them exchanging vows under a white gazebo on a sandy beach.

Mrs Gibney added: ‘I found out about the wedding by a few comments on Facebook that led through to other comments. I clicked on Suzanne Prudhoe’s profile and saw as her Facebook profile her wedding day, kissing my husband in their wedding finery.’

She found that after the ceremony at the Embassy on March 20 they were to hold a celebration party at the Al Bustan Hotel in Muscat, Oman.

She added: ‘A bigamous wedding is rare, as is getting married at the Embassy. I pretended I wanted to have a wedding there and I said a friend had attended the Prudhoe-Gibney wedding and she gave me all the details of the wedding and all the costings.’

Mrs Gibney told the court that she had been in ‘daily’ contact with her husband in the lead up to the illegal marriage and that he had exchanged 11 emails with her discussing bed linen – the day before his bigamous wedding.

When she tried to contact him on the big day, he was to have been ‘unwell’ but later claimed he had been cycling – lies she said were all examples that ‘epitomised his skill and power’.

She added: ‘I had no knowledge of Suzanne Prudhoe’s existence or relationship with my husband. It appeared she announced her engagement to my husband on Facebook in May 2012. To initiate into that bigamous marriage, my whole marriage became worthless.

‘If he had wanted a divorce we could have started proceedings years ago. All the pain inflicted was completely unnecessary. I feel the intensity could only be seen as deliberate intent to harm his family.’

She told the court that the wedding had cost £45,000, after she made inquiries at the celebration venue with the wedding planner. She said the new wedding had been ‘gossiped about’ and that although she had tried to keep the situation as secret as possible her professional reputation had been damaged ‘through absolutely no fault of my own’.

She added that her husband had been ‘violently abusive’ and that he had also ‘attempted to run me over’ which she believed was witnessed by her son.

She added that on his last visit home he left the house without saying goodbye to his son – who has since fallen ill with depression – and that the ‘whole episode had a devastating effect on his life’.

The former family home in Merseyside. The father-of-three, who lives and works as a senior contractor for Oman Oil, pleaded guilty to bigamy at Wirral Magistrates' Court. He was handed a six month prison sentence suspended for two years

The former family home in Merseyside. The father-of-three, who lives and works as a senior contractor for Oman Oil, pleaded guilty to bigamy at Wirral Magistrates’ Court. He was handed a six month prison sentence suspended for two years

She added that due to the stress she was also diagnosed with depression and was unable to work for two months. She told the court: ‘I carried the guilt but I couldn’t have prevented the harm caused to my children.’

She added that during divorce proceedings he attempted to conceal assets and possessions and because of legal fees she was forced to re-mortgage the house, sell her mother’s inherited jewellery and get two more jobs.

In court defence lawyer Kieran Fielding said his client left school at 16 and became a joiner but qualified as a quantity surveyor after returning to university at 21.

He said: ‘After two years he was working on the Channel Tunnel and commenced to work off-shore. By that time he had a child with a lady and that relationship broke down. He has worked across the globe, 14-15 years in Africa – that may be at risk because of the conviction.

‘During his working life he has supported himself, when he was married to Mrs Gibney he supported her and their son, he would say he has continued to do so during divorce proceedings.’

But District Judge Michael Abelson told Gibney: ‘You initiated into a bigamous marriage, you knew precisely what you were doing at the time you did it, there was no hiding it. You can tell just how bitter she is about it, I’m not here to sentence you because she feels bitter I’m sentencing you for what you have done.

‘I’m not to rehash the details of the divorce settlement. You entered a bigamous marriage. There are plenty of marvellous testimonials on your behalf, they can’t save you. The appropriate sentence is custodial. I find myself able to suspend such a sentence of six months for two years.’

Gibney was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £80 victim surcharge.

 

U.S.-led air strikes killed 521 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria: monitor

Smoke and flames rise over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Air strikes by U.S.-led forces have killed 521 Islamist fighters and 32 civilians during a month-long campaign in Syria, a monitoring group which tracks the violence said on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the vast majority of the deaths, 464, were militants from Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot which has grabbed large areas of Syria and neighboring Iraq.

The attacks also killed 57 members of the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, the Observatory said. Six of the civilians were children and five were women, it added.

The United States has been carrying out strikes in Iraq against Islamic State since July and in Syria since September with the help of Arab allies. Britain and France have also struck Islamic State targets in Iraq.

Washington justified its action in Syria under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defense against armed attack.

U.S. Central Command spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder said on Saturday that Washington took “reports of civilian casualties or damage to civilian facilities seriously and we have a process to investigate each allegation.”

Close to 200,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year civil war, according to the United Nations. Coalition strikes have hit the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Deir al-Zor, Idlib, Raqqa and al-Hassakah, the Observatory said.

(The story corrects to say 521, not 553, fighters killed)

Of Course Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Fluent Mandarin

Zuckerberg1

How’s your week going? Been pretty good? Feeling like you’re doing well at work and things are looking up?

Well, Mark Zuckerberg is back again to make you feel inadequate.

The Facebook CEO participated in a 30-minute question and answer session at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Wednesday, which he posted to his public page. He did the whole thing in Mandarin. He even cracked some jokes.

Evidently, Zuckerberg started studying Mandarin in 2010, saying it was his “personal challenge.”

“I have always been interested in Chinese culture and learning a language is a great way to learn about a culture,” Zuckerberg wrote.

He also noted that some of the family of his wife, Priscilla, only speak Mandarin and he hoped to converse with them.

Zuckerberg is known for setting one big goal per year, including wearing a tie to work every day (2009), only eating animals that he has killed (2011) and meeting a new person outside of Facebook every day (2013).

Ungarn braucht die EU, aber braucht die EU Ungarn?

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Die Achse der Illiberalen: Putin, Erdogan, Orban<br /><br />
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<p id=Als wären Putin und Erdogan nicht genug: Viktor Orbán, Regierungschef eines EU-Mitgliedslandes, fühlt sich unter Autokraten und Anti-Westlern wohl. Die USA üben diplomatischen Druck aus. Wann die EU?

Die Tücken der absoluten Mehrheit, man kennt sie von Autokratien. Aber dass die Versuchung, einen vermeintlich mehrheitlichen Willen einer ganzen Gesellschaft aufzudrücken, auch Demokratien erfassen kann, sieht man an Ungarn, wo Viktor Orbán seit Jahr und Tag sein Werk betreibt.

Ungarn, einst bemüht moderates sozialistisches Land, dann auch noch durch die Öffnung des Zauns 1989 als Vorreiter eines vereinten Europa geadelt, zieht heute wie kein anderes ostmitteleuropäisches Land einen anderen Vorhang zu: antiwestlich, antidemokratisch, antiliberal. Orbán spricht gar vom “tausendjährigen Reich”.

Vielleicht hat dies Brüssel so erschüttert, dass man trotz Warnungen darüber hinweggesehen hat. Schließlich sieht die zukunftsoptimistische Philosophie der Europäer nicht vor, dass Mitgliedsländer sich daneben benehmen und man sie sanktionieren muss, ja dass vielleicht gar ein Rauswurf notwendig sein könnte.

Hat sich je eine Staatsfrau so daneben benommen?

Die Staatsverschuldung mag man noch sanktionieren, Zivilgesellschaft, Menschenrechte, Gewaltenteilung und Pressefreiheit stehen nicht ähnlich wuchtig auf dem Prüfstand.

Orbán macht keinen Hehl aus seinem antimodernen, ja EU-feindlichen Kurs. Wie Putin und Erdogan suhlt er sich in seinen Zustimmungsraten, die er tragischerweise durch Wahlen erreichte und fälschlicherweise für ewig hält. Hat sich je eine Staatsfrau in modernen Zeiten derart halbstark daneben benommen?

Orbán weiß um die strukturelle Schwäche der EU, tanzt ihr auf der Nase herum und spricht davon, einen “illiberalen Staat” aufzubauen. Wo sind wir denn? Das ist nun den Amerikanern zu viel geworden. Sie haben den ungarischen Außenminister geladen und einigen seiner Landsleute die Einreise verweigert.

Noch nie haben die USA gegen ein osteuropäisches EU-Land eine derartige Maßnahme ergriffen. Eine Schmach für Brüssel, aber auch eine Chance. Die Sanktionen gegen das große und gewichtigere Russland greifen doch auch. Warum also nicht gegen Ungarn? Das Land braucht die EU, aber gilt das auch umgekehrt?

Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

A Déli Áramlat útvonala (Forrás: Wikimedia Commons)

Ever since Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sat to the negotiating table with Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller, the number of Hungarian steps putting the Russian gas giant in an advantageous position and supporting Russian interests have oddly increased.

First Hungary shut down reverse gas flow to Ukraine, then allowed Gazprom to stash its gas in local gas storage units. The latest measure is a law amendment proposal submitted by parliament’s economic committee chaired by Fidesz caucus chief Antal Rogán that would give Hungary the green-light to start building the South Stream pipeline. Despite all reservations and obstructions by the European Union, local news portal index.hu reported on Wednesday.

How to make the USA more angry with Hungary, we asked our readers on Tuesday, but we did not have the faintest idea that the government has been holding the best answer to that and it beats every idea we have ever had.

Parliament’s economic committee helmed by Antal Rogán, the head of the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group, has submitted an amendment proposal to a bill submitted by Fidesz MP Roland Mengyi that would practically make it possible for Hungary to start building the South Stream pipeline without consulting either the European Union or other international organisations.

Could build however it wants

As the rationale of the document says, the amendment would facilitate any gas company to construct the pipeline that is not a certified transmission system operator, i.e. it would not have to comply with any rules under which TSOs must operate.

What regulations are we talking about? For instance, a TSO cannot just decide on a whim to start building a pipeline without international approvals as the national development plans need to be harmonised and controlled. The TSO may start development projects that are included in an approved 10-year development plan. Moreover, once that plan is approved, the development projects must be carried out.

This rule was made not by chance, but because large natural gas transmitting pipelines are always cross-boarder, giant and vastly expensive projects that shape the geopolitical situation therefore it is crucial for the participating countries to be in appropriate harmony.

With the approval of the above amendment proposal any gas company would be able to build gas pipelines in Hungary on a simple nod from the Hungarian Energy Office. In that case the different international co-ordination bodies would have no jurisdiction.

Although the amendment proposal does not specify any pipeline construction project, the only one on the agenda right now is South Stream. This happens to be the pipeline which Hungary would be able to start building only if it bypassed international organisations.

According to plans

If the planned modification of the law is indeed aimed at this, we can expect both the European Union and its ally, the United States, which have implemented sanctions against Russia for its conflict with Ukraine, to be furious.

 

The EU is against Moscow’s endeavours to expand its imperial reach, a tool of which is the South Stream pipeline in its current form. It has taken up a rigorous stance on this issue, declaring that it would not negotiate on the building of the pipeline until the Russia-Ukraine conflict is settled.

Irrespective of the fact that officially the project is in a standstill, Russian President Vladimir Putin has called his allies into action behind the scenes.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met Hungarian PM Orbán on 22 September in Budapest and the company said in a statement that the subject of their discussion was gas supply in Hungary in the winter and the South Stream project which “is progressing according to plan”.

Odd timing

A few days after the Orbán-Miller meeting Hungary’s gas pipeline network operator FGSZ announced it was indefinitely suspending gas supply to neighbouring Ukraine for technical reasons. Ukraine was fuming over the move and interpreted it as the outcome of the Russian-Hungarian meeting.

It was in the open for some time now that Moscow does not take it well that the “enemy” Ukraine is receiving gas from Hungary. The explanation Budapest delivered was that filling up the gas storage units for the winter was the priority therefore it had to halt reverse gas flow to Ukraine.

Let’s admit, it was more than a lame excuse. The depleted storage units indeed had to be filled back up, as the turning off of the gas tap seemed to be a realistic risk due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

However, there were interesting developments also during the filling up process, for instance, a proposal submitted by Fidesz MP Roland Mengyi a few days after the Orbán-Miller meeting.

The MP, who is a stranger to energy issues, proposed the amendment of the gas law, as a result of which Gazprom was allowed to transmit natural gas into Hungarian storage facilities without obtaining a trade permit.

On paper it will have several hundreds of millions of cubic metres of gas abroad so it will not have to pay taxes until it sells this volume to a Hungarian company.

If it wants to sell it that is. In case the flow of Ukrainian transit gas is stopped neighbouring countries could also be queuing up for this stashed gas reserve.

And now there is Rogán’s amendment proposal to top this off nicely.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó will meet Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, and special energy envoy Amos Hochs in Washington on Wednesday. South Stream is likely to be discussed there.

Plan to tax internet traffic in Hungary sees protesters take to the streets

Hungary is steeling itself to become the first country in the world to tax people for internet usage, Reuters has reported. HUS 5456 In a draft tax bill submitted to parliament yesterday, provisions were outlined for internet providers to pay a hefty 150 forints (37 pence) per gigabyte of data traffic in tax. HUS 5521 It would, however, allow companies to offset corporate income tax against the new charge. Nagy méretű kép Mihály Varga, the economy minister who revealed the proposal, reasoned that it is a logical extension of the government’s levies on text messaging and phone calls, which were introduced in 2011. HUS 5702 As you might expect there was a public outcry, and within hours of the submission being published, upwards of 100,000 people had joined a Facebook group protesting the tax and promising to rally against. Nagy méretű kép They argue that it is excessive, and (quite justifiably) fear that responsibility for paying it could be passed on to customers, allowing internet service providers to dodge the bill. humanplatform01 So, will the proposal spread to other countries? That remains to be seen, but the unpopularity of such a tax – and the widespread discontent with other controversial taxes (ahem, bedroom tax) – will hopefully keep British politicians from looking into it!

A Massive Outdoor Sculpture in Budapest of a Man Bursting From the Ground in a Public Square

Feltepve by Ervin Loranth Herve

A gigantic man bursts from the ground in Széchenyi Square in Budapest in the massive outdoor sculpture“Feltépve” (“Ripped Up” or “Popped Up”) by artist Ervin Loránth Hervé.

Crafted from polystyrene, the sculpture was installed temporarily for the Art Market Budapest contemporary art fair which took place earlier in October.

Feltepve by Ervin Loranth Herve
photo by László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

Feltepve by Ervin Loranth Herve
photo by László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

Feltepve by Ervin Loranth Herve
photo by László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

Feltepve by Ervin Loranth Herve
photo via Art Market Budapest

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