Bigamy charge: Man would be arrested 'on the spot'

The Dunedin District Court. Photo: ODT files
The Dunedin District Court. Photo: ODT files
A man charged with the rare offence of bigamy will be arrested as soon as he sets foot in New Zealand.

Ankit Kapila (33) also faces counts of breaching a protection order, threatening to kill, assault in a family relationship and possession of a knife.

He did not appear in the Dunedin District Court when the case was called this morning and Judge Jim Large issued a warrant for the man's arrest.

Police prosecutor Dave Tod said it was understood Kapila was in India.

The warrant for arrest would mean if the defendant returned to New Zealand he would be arrested “on the spot”.

Most of the alleged violence took place in June and the protection order breach a month later.

According to charging documents the second marriage took place in Dunedin in 2016.

The maximum penalty for the offence under the Crimes Act is seven years' imprisonment, however, sentences handed down by the court in recent years have been less severe than jail.

In 2014, Fiona Frances Fielding was given a 12-month deferred sentence when she appeared in the North Shore District Court on a charge of bigamy and one of making a false statement to a marriage celebrant.

The court heard she had split up with her husband three years before the second marriage but neither had filed divorce proceedings.

In 2012, Auckland man Rodney Peach got community work and supervision for the same offence.

The man confessed to police two days after the unlawful second marriage, the Manukau District Court heard.

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