A Muslim businessman has told a divorce hearing that Sharia law allows him to have a second wife.
Houshang Jafari’s wife is seeking a divorce after learning that her husband’s mistress, who is 20 years her junior, had become pregnant for a second time.
Aghdas Bidaki, who has reverted to her maiden name, lives in the couple’s family home. Her 60-year-old husband lives in an apartment with his 33-year-old mistress.
Miss Bidaki said she had wanted to divorce him before, but under Sharia law she would not have been able to take her three children with her.
She said: “He had other relationships but I put up with it for the sake of my marriage. I put up with it because my family would say it would pass and once he was older and wiser it would be fine.
“What I didn’t know was that this time it was serious. There was a two-year-old boy and she was pregnant with another. Then I realised I am not going to put up with it.”
Mr Jafari said his wife’s claims were being “orchestrated by their children”. He added: “She is saying it so she can get them money.”
The couple’s divorce proceedings, which were heard at Bristol County Court, concluded on Wednesday.
The news comes amid increasing concern about the creeping influence of Sharia in Britain, and the emergence of a parallel legal system.
It is not known how many Muslim couples take their family disputes to Islamic Sharia tribunals, but critics warn that they often discriminate against women.
A Bill, tabled by Lady Cox, aimed at tackling the problem of Sharia courts in England and Wales was introduced to the House of Lords earlier this year.
Under the Bill, it will become a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to falsely claim legal jurisdiction over criminal or family law.