Described by a sheriff as an individual whose offences served to “undermine the institution of marriage,” Alexander Roy left behind him a trail of broken hearts and promises.
The 40-year-old maintained a dizzying series of relationships, juggling not only two wives, but two fiancees into the bargain, both of whom fell pregnant by him.
And yesterday he walked from the dock of Stirling Sheriff Court after he was sentenced to 240 hours community service for bigamy.
In a show of marital devotion, his only legal wife had asked that he be shown mercy. The exact contents of her letter to the court were not revealed.
But the sentence sparked anger among Roy’s former partners yesterday, one of whom has suggested he had been engaged as many as 18 times.
The court heard that the father of two, from Airdrie, bigamously married Morven Wylie, a charity worker, in a civil ceremony at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel in May 2007.
On what was supposed to be the couple’s happy day, Roy told registrar Rosina Hamilton that his parents, Eric and Martha, were dead, and that he was single.
In fact, his parents were alive, and Roy remained married to his first, and only legal wife, Denise.
Defence agent Ricky Hutchison said the couple had separated in 2001, leaving Roy depressed and suffering from so-called “adjustment disorder”, a medical reaction to stress which is said to lead people to make wrong decisions under pressure.
Despite parting ways, however, Mr Hutchison added that the Roys decided against initiating divorce proceedings, “because the parties got on so well”.
“Mr Roy says he recalls very little from around that time but he moved jobs, met Ms Wylie, and within a very short time decided to get married,” he explained. “He says that the question about being married or not just never came up. Once the wedding plans were made, he just decided to go through with it.” Having found a second wife, however, Roy was not content, and set up home with two other women, Debbie Watson, from Lanarkshire, and Marie Jackson, from High Wycombe. Roy, who earned £45,000 a year as a business development manager, proposed to both women, and got both pregnant.
Roy pleaded guilty last year to two charges of giving false information under the Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 and one of bigamy. Sentence had been deferred for reports. His solicitor explained that Roy was “in good employment” and had achieved no financial gain from his actions. Sheriff Andrew Cubie said: “In some respects, he is more to be pitied than punished, but it is a serious matter.” In a surprise intervention, the court also heard from depute fiscal Gillian Taylor that Roy was facing further investigations dating back to the time of his relationship with Ms Watson.
After reading background reports, Sheriff Cubie told Roy he had pleaded guilty to a serious offence that had a “devastating effect” on Ms Wylie.
He told him: “Offences such as this undermine the institution of marriage, as well has having who knows what effect on the confidence of Ms Wylie in relation to the rest of her life and her relationship with other men.”
After the hearing, Ms Watson said: “He needs to be stopped before he ruins anyone else’s life. Alex is charismatic and has ruined so many already.” The 30-year-old said she was “surprised” at Mrs Roy’s actions in pleading for a soft sentence, adding: ” I’m just going to get on with my life now. I’m sure Alex is one man in a million – I’ll never be so unlucky as to meet someone like that again.” Earlier, Ms Jackson condemned Roy’s actions: “What he has done is absolutely disgusting. It is a total mess. He is the most manipulative person I have ever met.”