Bigamistic mother, 43, who had a baby with her lover while married to her first husband, is spared prison
A bigamistic mother of three who tied the knot and had a baby with her lover while still married to her first husband of 22 years, has been spared prison.
Brinda Kantamaneni, 43, of Guildford, Surrey, hid her relationship and pregnancy with Matthew Hall from her first husband, Ravi.
Their homes were only three minutes apart, and she even entered a wrong name on her five-year-old’s birth certificate with Mr. Hall.
She has been unable to talk to her two children from her marriage to her first husband for three years, the court was told.
Kantamaneni, who had pleaded guilty to a charge of bigamy at a previous hearing, appeared at the Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing along with Mr Hall.
The court heard that she was forced to marry in an arranged marriage to her first husband, Ravi, in North Carolina in the United States at the age of 20, in May 1999, and had a traditional Indian ceremony later that year.
Brinda Kantamaneni (pictured above), 43, of Guildford, Surrey, hid her relationship and pregnancy with Matthew Hall from her first husband, Ravi
The couple later had a son and daughter, now aged 17 and 15, before moving to London, where Ravi works as a director for an international consultancy.
Ravi asked the court for a restraining order against Kantamaneni, but this was rejected. At the earlier hearing, it was said she could have faced up to seven years in prison for bigamy.
However, Judge Hannah Duncan said during the mitigation, “I’m not going to send her to jail.”
The court was told that she was subject to emotional and physical abuse and was kept in the unhappy marriage by her husband, father and brother.
Prosecutor Olu Phillips, who read the first husband’s victim statement, said, “For me, everything is a constant battle.
My mind is in a constant film of memories. I live only for my children and make sure they have a happy and healthy life.
‘I trust nobody. My work has been affected. I’ve been forgetful, I keep thinking about why she did this to her own children.
‘We didn’t deserve this. I am in constant distress, sorrow and pain.’
Paul Mylvaganam said in relief: “There is a long and sad history in this case.
“The case is unusual, of course, but the real punishment has already been done – she hasn’t spoken to her children in three years.
When the divorce proceedings began in 2018, she gave away her home in Arlington, Virginia, and her home in London, and walked away without anything in the hopes of seeing her children.
At the beginning of 2020 she was registered for bigamy by her first husband. She could have tried to force her children through the courts, but at the time she was afraid.
Mr. Hall, pictured above. Their homes were only three minutes apart and Kantamaneni even entered an incorrect name on her five-year-old’s birth certificate with Mr. Hall.
“She wants nothing more than to be able to build bridges and mend the relationship.”
He added: “She is a lady who can keep a family together and hopes to be a good mother to that young five-year-old.”
When handing down the sentence, the judge handed over her 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement to be completed in two years. No costs or compensation were imposed, other than the victim allowance.
She said: ‘You went through an arranged marriage when you were a very young woman for the complainant in this case.
‘You had two children. The marriage took place in 1999, the first child was born in 2004 and the second child was born in 2007. You tried to keep up the facade, but you knew your marriage was over.
“There was nothing legally stopping you from leaving your first husband. You had every right to do that.
“The reason you’re here is you lied to live life with a man you’re in love with. There is damage in the case, not only because of the lie, but also because of the sad collapse of a family.
“You didn’t want to be in the first marriage. You were restrained in an arranged marriage and you were only 20 years old.
“Over the years you tried several times to leave your husband, but your husband, your brother and your father didn’t let you.
“You were forcibly checked and physically abused. You were put in a position you couldn’t get out of.
The court heard (file photo, above) that she was forced to marry at age 20 in an arranged marriage to her first husband, Ravi, in May 1999 in North Carolina, United States
“You have been emotionally abused and emotionally manipulated. This is how you found yourself telling a lie. This is not something you should have done.
“You were open to doing things the right way, but you’ve already lost your job and contact with your two children. That reduces a lot of your debt.’
Judge Duncan added: “As for the damage, I look at the lie you have told and the humiliation, pain and shame you have caused your husband.
‘I have read the victim statement written by him. I note that none of the children have been asked to write a victim statement.
“Obviously there is a lot of ill will from your ex-husband towards you and I must keep that in mind.
“What hurts them is that they left your father, they don’t live with you anymore, and that would have hurt whether you did it the right way or the wrong way.
“You were always entitled to leave, but you had to stay against your will through physical and emotional abuse.
“I refuse to impose a restraining order. That would be totally inappropriate. I don’t see any risk of a restraining order being necessary.
“Strictly speaking, it wasn’t where a double life had been led for years. You did your best to please everyone.
“You’ve come to make this decision by putting yourself first, foolish as that decision may have been.”