updated 8/11/2005 10:42:13 AM ET 2005-08-11T14:42:13

Some people bring flowers, others bring balloons. When Melvyn Reed's three wives showed up to visit him at the hospital, they brought an unexpected curtain call to his years as a double bigamist.

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British police confirmed that after Melvyn Reed woke from his triple bypass heart operation earlier this year, his complicated marital affairs took a turn for a worse. All three of his spouses had turned up at the same time, despite his efforts to stagger their visits.

Media reports say that, upon realizing that something was amiss, the wives held a meeting in the parking lot, and learned that they were all married to the same man.

The 59-year-old company director from Kettering in central England turned himself into police on May 12 saying he was married to three women at the same time, and confessed to bigamy, an illegal offense in Britain, London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Reed had turned himself in to police in Wimbledon, south London in the presence of his lawyer, and admitted he was a bigamist.

$126 fine
He pleaded guilty to two charges of bigamy on July 19 at the Wimbledon Magistrates' court, and was given a suspended sentence of four months in prison and ordered to pay 70 pounds ($126) in costs, police said.

It wasn't immediately possible to reach Reed or his three wives. A phone call to one of the women went unanswered. Reed's lawyer Laurence Grant was not immediately available at his office 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.

British media have widely reported that Reed recently moved back in with his first wife, Grafton. They say she is the mother of his three grown children.

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

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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