Bristol

Millionaire Houshang Jafari's wife granted divorce

A self-styled "Lord" who cheated on his wife has lost his legal battle to stop her divorcing him.

Millionaire property developer Houshang Jafari, 60, claimed under Sharia law - the moral code and religious law of Islam - that he was allowed to take a second wife.

He left the family home in Bristol and moved his new girlfriend Katrina Jafari into his exclusive flat in the city.

His wife had sought a divorce on the grounds of "unreasonable conduct".

Aghdas Bidaki, 53, who now uses her maiden name, was granted the divorce at Bristol County Court by Recorder Susan Jacklin.

Bedridden with pain

She filed for divorce after Ms Jafari, who now uses her partner's surname, fell pregnant for a second time.

Mr Jafari was not present in court, having claimed he was bedridden with pain and refused to attend.

The judge said the case should be heard in his absence.

The case was originally adjourned in September because he fell ill.

That hearing was told Mr Jafari and his wife married in Iran in 1978 and had three children together.

Giving evidence, Miss Bidaki claimed Mr Jafari moved out of their home after moaning about her cooking.

She previously ignored his womanising but could not overlook the fact that Ms Jafari was pregnant again, she claimed.

"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," she said.

"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. I could not compete with a woman 20 years younger than myself. He didn't care about me."

Attacked helicopter

Mr Jafari denied her claims and said: "What she is saying is being orchestrated by the children. She is saying it so she can get them money. That is the purpose of this divorce."

Mr Jafari contested the divorce and Ms Jafari told the judge: "Ms Bidaki married a man who was polygamous, that's the end of it. The whole of Islam is based on the principle of polygamy, whereas the Bible is based on the principle of monogamy."

Granting a decree nisi, the first legal stage of granting a divorce, the recorder said: "I am quite satisfied there is unreasonable behaviour and this marriage has irretrievably broken down."

Mr Jafari hit the headlines in 2010 when he was jailed for a year for attacking a helicopter that landed outside his flat.

The businessman flew into a rage because the Jet Ranger blew debris at his Land Rover.

He tried to open the pilot's door before kicking the aircraft, throwing a plastic bag full of chicken bones towards the rotor and holding on to the skid bar causing the helicopter to lurch dangerously to one side.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites