real life

She saw a lavish wedding on Facebook. Then she realised her husband was the groom.

(Note: This is a stock image.)


Yvonne Gibney and her husband Maurice Gibney had been married for 17 years.

So when the 55-year-old mother-of-two logged onto Facebook and saw photos of a lavish wedding ceremony on an overseas beach, the last person she expected to see suited up as a groom was her husband.

But that’s exactly what she found: photos of her 48-year-old husband in a wedding suit, kissing a woman in a white dress– in an extravagant celebration that reportedly cost the equivalent of about $82,000, according to the Daily Mail.

His new “wife” was Suzanne Prudhoe, a blonde teacher whose Facebook profile says she lives in Oman — the Arab country in which the bigamous wedding took place.

Yvonne Gibney learned more about the wedding by phoning the British Embassy in Oman and pretending she was interested in booking an event there, reports. She soon learned the event had been held in March 2013 — meaning her husband had been “married” to Ms Prudhoe for 11 months.

Ms Prudhoe (Photo: Facebook)

A shocked Mrs Gibney went to police with evidence of the nuptials — then took him to court in the UK.

According to The Mirror, it was revealed in court that Mr Gibney, a 48-year-old globe-trotting Oman Oil contractor, had cheated on his wife at Christmas in 2011, claiming he had to go away “on business” — when really, he was seeing Ms Prudhoe. reports that Mrs Gibney said in court: “He said it was due to pressures of work. The reality was to conceal the relationship and holiday with her….

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


“He agreed to come home on the 27th (of December) and told my son of the plans but never arrived… He actually spent that Christmas in the UK with Suzanne Prudhoe with both his and Suzanne’s family.”

Father-of-three Mr Gibney had also told his own family he had already divorced Mrs Gibney at the time of his bigamous wedding, reportedly insisting that split should be kept quiet for the sake of their children.

And despite spending many thousands on his nuptials, he allegedly told Mrs Gibney he could not contribute £200 to a school trip for one of their sons.

Prior to discovering the Facebook photos, Mrs Gibney said, she “I had no knowledge of Suzanne Prudhoe’s existence or relationship with my husband”.

“You initiated into a bigamous marriage, you knew precisely what you were doing at the time you did it, there was no hiding it,” the judge said.

“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,” she said.

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

District Judge Michael Abelson told Mr Gibney in court: “You initiated into a bigamous marriage, you knew precisely what you were doing at the time you did it, there was no hiding it.”

Mr Gibney pleaded guilty, ultimately being handed a six-month suspended sentence.

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