A PENSIONER accused of bigamously marrying three women in the space of seven years today had his trial postponed - after prosecutors failed to hand over vital documents to his lawyers.
Alexander Paton is accused of wedding the women at registry offices in Glenrothes and at a church in Greenock between 2006 and 2012.
Paton - a retired engineering inspector - was set to go on trial at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court today - but the court heard the Crown had not handed over witness statements to his brief.
Paton’s lawyer said the case could be “resolved” once divorce records from the Los Angeles Superior Court in California are sent to Scotland.
It is alleged that Paton first married Filipino mortgage funder Perla Montilla, 65, at a registery office in Glenrothes in October 2006.
However, prosecutors say he was already married to another woman, Dorothy Campbell, at the time.
The second charge alleges that while married to Perla, he married Romanian engineer Judit Gherghiteanu, 67, in June 2007 at the same registry office.
A third charge alleges that he illegally married Margaret Nicol, 66, from Fife, at a church in Greenock in 2012.
Paton, 68, of Kirkcaldy, denied all three charges against him during a brief pre-trial hearing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court today.
His lawyer, Bill Clark, told the court that the American divorce records would relate to an apparent split from Miss Campbell in the States.
He added: “I have not yet received disclosure statements and as such am not prepared.
“New dates will require to be fixed.”
Fiscal depute Dana Forbes added: “Our information is they were sent in September but if the defence do not have them they will have to be re-sent.”
Sheriff Alistair Thornton set a new trial in March, and ordered Paton to appear at a pre-trial heraing in February.
Bigamy is defined as the crime of marrying a person while already legally married.
In Scotland, penalties range from fines to substantial prison sentences.
A bigamist is seen as perpetrating fraud against the state, causing a disruption in record keeping and, in some cases, upsetting the practice of inheritance and estate laws.
If the second spouse is unaware of a still-valid prior marriage, the bigamist may also be seen as causing him or her to enter into a legal agreement under false pretences, which may be another form of fraud.
In 2010, bigamist businessman Alexander Roy – who juggled two wives, two fiancées and had a string of previous lovers – escaped a jail term at Stirling Sheriff Court.
The father-of-two married charity worker Morven Wylie in a civil ceremony at the luxury Dunblane Hydro Hotel in Perthshire while still legally hitched to another woman.
It was concluded that Roy, who was still the lawful wedded husband of Denise Roy at the time of the ceremony in 2007, was suffering from an “adjustment disorder”.