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'Freemason Roy' "Pillar of the Community" fakes divorce and tells wife for six years he is in Malaysia on business, but is actually secretly living remarried three blocks away

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IC Birmingham

2 lives, 2 wives, 2 miles apart

Jan 30 2005

By Emily Andrews

A cheating husband lived an amazing double life after forging divorce documents to end his first marriage - so he could marry a younger lover.

For six years Janet Jackson, 61, thought hubby Roy was running a successful bathroom firm in Malaysia because of his lengthy absences from home.

But in fact Roy, 59, had secretly ' divorced' her after forging documents so he could walk down the aisle with lover Pamela.

And far from being in exotic Malaysia. he was living with her just TWO MILES away in West Bromwich.

The company boss sneakily sold their Walsall family home while Janet was caring for his elderly mother at her house in Wednesbury - and kept up the pretence by phoning her three times a day from 'Malaysia'.

Janet only became suspicious when a relative spotted the couple together - but her husband still denied he was having an affair.

The truth only came out when Janet confronted Roy and former friend Pamela, 45, at their home - and saw their wedding picture sitting on top of the television.

Roy, a Freemason who believes himself a pillar of society and who counts an MP and judges among his friends, admitted a number of offences when he appeared at Dudley Crown Court two weeks ago.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery relating to divorce documents and the house sale, two counts of using a false instrument and one count of perjury.

Ironically, he now faces sentencing on Valentine's Day, when he could be jailed for up to six years.

"We were married for 37 years and now I find out he's a bare-faced liar," said Janet. "I'm absolutely devastated and I can never forgive him for doing this to me. "He has made a mockery of our marriage"

It is believed that the Crown Prosecution Service decided Roy should not face bigamy charges, as it is unclear whether he was legally divorced when he walked down the aisle with Pamela.

Government legal experts are examining the case to decide if Roy's second marriage should now be declared void, meaning that he would still be married to his first bride.

Janet and Roy married in 1967 with a fairytale white wedding ceremony at Wednesbury Parish Church.

He worked in the bathroom fittings industry and quickly rose through the ranks to become managing director of Regency Bathrooms.

His job took him all over the world, including the Far East, Middle East, South America and the USA.

The successful businessman even set up his own consultancy business and handled millions of pounds of public money for the New Deal community project.

The couple enjoyed a seemingly happy marriage and had one daughter, Sarah-Jane - born in

1971 - and have two grandchildren, Steven, aged nine and 18 month-old Alisha. Then in 1997 Janet says Roy told her he would have to begin working away a lot of the time in Malaysia.

"He told me he was going away to Malaysia and he didn't say how long he was going for," she said. "Roy worked away often so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He used to come back on flying visits and then go away again, so I never suspected anything.

"He used to ring me three times a day from Malaysia. First thing in the morning and then last thing at night - about 11.45pm before I went to bed.

"Roy said he was working abroad with someone named Frank. Later, he told me Frank had died of cancer out there, explaining why he had to stay longer. But I later found out Frank never even existed."

She added: "I never had a penny off him since he went. In fact, I used to give him money.

"He used to ring me three times a day. He phoned me at work and the girls and the gaffer would often take the calls. This went on for some time.

"But one day a cousin of Roy's rang my sister Margaret and said he'd seen him in West Bromwich in a car with another woman. My sister rang me and asked 'What's going on?'.

"When Roy rang that night I tackled him about it, but he said that my family were telling me lies. How could it be him when he was abroad? I had my suspicions but he kept on denying it.

"Eventually I became more and more suspicious. Then someone else told me he was living with Pamela in Phoenix Street in late 2002. He was still ringing me up to three times a day and he denied it. He even said: 'Go round to Pamela's house and see for yourself'. So my sister and I went there in February 2003. I had to know for myself.

"I went in - and there was a wedding photo of him and Pamela on top of the TV!

"Roy's told me so many lies and I'm extremely bitter. He never told me he was getting married to someone else - he never even asked me for a divorce.

"I didn't sign any papers. When I got the decree nisi in the post I asked Roy about it. He said it didn't mean anything and told me I should burn it or throw it away.

"I didn't think we were divorced. I'm not an idiot. I know you have to sign papers before a divorce can be processed and I never signed anything.

"My solicitor says he thinks Roy and I are still legally married but I would never have him back after what he's done."

Despite pleading guilty to the forgery offences Roy, who says he counts judges and West Bromwich East MP, Tom Watson, as close friends, claims his first wife knew about the divorce.

"I've been a complete prat but I'm not a criminal," he said.

"I told Janet I was moving out in about 1996 - I can't really remember when and she didn't really say anything.

"I never went back or spoke to her again. I married Pamela in December 1999 at St Andrew's Methodist Church in West Bromwich.

"Why would I want a secret divorce when I had a public wedding?

"She says she didn't sign the divorce papers, but I didn't sign them for her - I don't know who did.

"I did sell the house in Ravensdale Close in Walsall. It would appear that she had no proceeds from the sale of the house but I used the money to buy my mother's home, where Janet was living."

But Janet, who works as a care assistant at a special needs home, denies agreeing to the divorce. Her daughter Sarah-Jane and Roy's brother Brian are now

refusing to talk to him because of the marriage betrayal. "I can't believe he's persisting in these lies," said Janet. "How can I have known about the divorce when I didn't sign anything? If he had asked me, I would have given him a divorce - but he never did.

"I'm having to live with his mum Florence after he sold our family house from under my nose. I thought I'd be able to enjoy retirement by now but I've got to keep working because I'm penniless.

"He's the last person I'd have thought would have done this and I can never forgive him. He's like some Jekyll and Hyde character to me."

But Freemason Roy said: "I'm being a portrayed as a serial fraudster who betrayed his wife as some part of a sinister masonic

plot. But the whole thing is just an unfortunate misunderstanding and I'm paying a high price.

"I was pressurised into pleading guilty but she IS the injured party and I'm the perpetrator of the crime.

"I could still be married to Janet, and therefore not married to Pamela. I just don't know!"

Second wife Pamela is standing by her man.

"If they overturn the divorce I will marry Roy again," she said. "Janet is just a woman scorned."

Divorce experts contacted by the Sunday Mercury said this was one of the most bizarre cases they had ever encountered.

They believe Roy's first marriage to Janet still stands - but Romeo Roy is adamant that he will marry Pamela again if necessary.

Further Reading:

Pillars of the Community

UK Freemasonry in the News, have the 'Brethren' finally met their Waterloo?