"you were forced to stay against your will."
A bigamist has avoided jail because she was trapped in an “abusive” marriage.
Brinda Kantamaneni secretly got married to her lover Matthew Hall and had his child. Meanwhile, she hid her relationship and pregnancy from her first husband Ravi.
A court heard that Kantamaneni was locked in the unhappy marriage by Ravi, her father and brother. She also suffered physical and emotional abuse.
In October 2017, she married Matthew at Ealing Town Hall, London.
The bigamist kept the relationship a secret despite the two men living just three minutes away from each other.
But four months later, Ravi found out about the second marriage.
Kantamaneni faced up to seven years in prison after admitting bigamy.
But at Isleworth Crown Court, a judge refused Ravi’s plea for a restraining order and declined to pass a prison sentence.
Instead, Kantamaneni was given 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement to complete over two years.
No court costs or compensation, other than a small victim surcharge, were ordered.
Judge Hannah Duncan said: “It is clear there is a great deal of bad will from your former husband towards you and I must bear that in mind.
“You were always entitled to leave [your first marriage], but you were forced to stay against your will.
“I refuse to make a restraining order. That would be wholly inappropriate.
“I don’t see that there is any risk that makes a restraining order necessary.
“You were doing the best you could to make everyone happy.
“You came to make this decision by, for once, putting yourself first, no matter how foolish that decision may have been.”
Kantamaneni and Ravi had an arranged marriage in May 1999 in North Carolina, USA, before having a traditional Indian wedding later that year.
The couple went on to have a son and daughter, whom Kantamaneni has not seen for three years.
They moved to London where Ravi works as a director for an international consultancy firm.
Their marriage was officially dissolved in 2019.
In an impact statement, Ravi said: “For me, everything is a constant battle.
“My mind is in a constant movie of memories.
“I only live for my children and ensure they will have a happy healthy life.
“I don’t trust anyone. My work has been impacted. I have been forgetful, I just keep thinking about why she did this to her own children.
“We didn’t deserve any of this. I’m in constant distress, sadness and pain.”