“it as unfair for her to have given children to men who never married her, but would be reluctant to give her husband a child that he so desires.”
(CMR) The Grand Court recently dismissed the application of Gregory Anthony Ricardo Watt to have his marriage annulled on the basis of what he claims was fraud under section 8 of the Matrimonial Causes Law (2005 Revision). Justice Ramsay-Hale found that there was no fraud committed based on the facts presented to her.
The July 2020 judgment noted that the parties had met on a social media site and began a short courtship that resulted in them getting married in Mandeville, Jamaica on November 16, 2019. His new wife, Lorna Natasha Nunes was to join him in the Cayman Islands but had some issues getting a police clearance certificate. Apparently, she was still able to travel in December 2019 and intended to visit for about a month. For some undisclosed reason, she only remained for 10 days and then left the matrimonial home never to return.
In his annulment petition, Watt claims that she misled him about her criminal record and inability to obtain a clean police record stating that she, “made a false representation of herself” and that “she is not at all whom she held herself out to be”.
The police record was a requirement for her to receive her residency papers on the grounds of marriage to Watt. She received the annulment papers in Jamaica on February 28 but has not acknowledged or sought to defend the Petition.
Exclusive CMR sources indicated that Watt was interested in pre-marital sex with Nunes who refused and that the marriage was intended to gain access to her physically. In fact, they overheard Watt himself sharing the details of the marriage which he neglected to include in his divorce petition.
Sources indicate that apparently she claims to be a prophet and issues started when she arrived in the church in Cayman. Church members are well familiar with the situation and shared that he became upset when she privately met with the pastor of their church. He informed the pastor that meeting with his wife privately was disrespecting him.
As it turns out she left he matrimonial home and cut her trip short as a result of these issues and went to stay with someone else in Cayman for the duration of her trip. In fact, she even had to get the police involved to retrieve her clothes from his house. We understand that this is his fourth marriage. Watt denies that he has been married that many times.
Justice Ramsay-Hale reviewed the evidence before her and found some issues with applying this section of the law that allows for fraud. Nunes had informed Watt of a domestic incident about 11 years ago that had been dismissed by the Court.
She did not foresee any issues with getting the required police clearance certificate and according to the evidence had made some attempts to do so. However, due to issues like a courthouse fire and relocation of the court's office she was unsuccessful. Eventually, Watt concluded that her inability to obtain the certificate meant that she withholding something from him and had somehow deceived him.
Another part of his petition was the couple's inability to agree on having a child. Watt had informed her of his desire to have another child. However, she had always said to him she had no interest in having any more children. At some point, he believed he had changed her mind but even after the marriage she remained firm in her position. He thought it was unfair that she had children outside of wedlock but would not give him, as her husband, a child.
The judge looked at the requirements for a valid contract of marriage including “virtual consent” by both parties and “knowledge on their part of all material facts.” In this case, she noted several cases on fraudulent marriages and concluded that he had no legal grounds to claim fraud. He knew that Nunes was charged with a criminal offense and the general nature of the allegations against her. He also knew that she had no desire to have any more children. Therefore, fraud could not be a valid reason for the nullity of the marriage.
In conclusion, the judge held that his “mistake as to the qualities of the persons” was not enough to void the marriage. In fact, she concluded that it remains good law that:
“In other words, a mistake as to your partner's attributes is not a ground for avoiding a marriage, as disappointment as to their character does not constitute fraud.”