A bigamist’s first wife has warned his latest partner that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’ as he avoided jail today after leading a double life married to two women at the same time.
Jason Hayter, 48, had five children with his two victims and split his time between Germany with one of them and the UK with the other.
He concealed his cheating by blaming lengthy absences on going away with the Army and later on claiming he was training as a paramedic or suffering from mental health issues.
Hayter, who was already divorced from a first wife when he married his victims, was rumbled after a daughter from his third marriage messaged his second wife on Facebook to ask who she was.
But after being handed a suspended sentence at court, first wife Teresa Fortune, 52, issued a warning to his current partner Sarah Taylor, suggesting his ‘cheating’ would likely happen again.
‘He probably won’t make the same mistake of being married to two people at the same time but he won’t rehabilitate in terms of cheating on women,’ she said.
Ms Fortune also criticised the sentence, saying it would not act as a deterrent for people who ruined families’ lives.
She said: ‘He should have served some time to deter him and other people from doing it.
‘I just get the feeling that because of who he was – such as his time in the military – it was like “We can’t sent him to prison.’
Hayter’s first wife, Teresa Fortune, pictured holding a snake, told MailOnline how Hayter also lived a ‘double life’ with her
Jason Hayter, 48, was accompanied into court today by his current partner, Sarah Taylor
Hayter had five children with his two wives and lived with one family in Germany , where he was stationed with the Army, and visited the other in the UK
Judge Katharine Moore gave a suspended sentence for a number of reasons, she said, including his role in caring for his current partner’s young child, a previously spotless record and his early admissions of guilt.
She told him: ‘Your behaviour has been disgraceful. You perpetrated a cruel deception that struck at the very heart of the institution of marriage.
‘Such deception erodes trust and devastates families.’
Hayter, who admitted bigamy at a previous court hearing, legally married Tracey Larcombe in 2010 when she was pregnant with their first child.
The couple, who met two years earlier on a dating website and lived in Germany, had a second child in 2015.
He met Sara Hayter through a website in 2010 and secretly started a relationship with her in the UK.
They had a child in 2014, married in 2016, and went on to have twins in 2018.
Hayter, of Kirby Cross, near Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, appeared at Norwich Crown Court in a pin stripe suit and pushing himself in a wheelchair. He suffered a stroke last year and was diagnosed with PTSD.
Sara Hayter married Jason Hayter in 2016, unaware that he was already wedded to Tracey Larcombe
Tracey Larcombe was even left to handle debt collectors after he abandoned her and her family
Prosecutor Chris Youell said the defendant’s complicated love life meant at times he was not just leading a double life but ‘even a triple life’ at times.
‘There are a lot of children who are somewhat confused about their lineage and their father due to the toing and froing in their lives. They are affected by this as well,’ he told the court.
There were ‘different types of bigamy’ involving people who marry to get someone into the UK and give them citizenship, often for personal gain, Mr Youell added.
But he said: ‘[The defendant’s] main mischief is emotional, rather than financial.’
Hayter, who was in the armed forces for 24 years, serving in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, was accompanied in court by his current partner, Sarah Taylor, who he met while working as a paramedic for London Ambulance Service. He was sacked last year.
Following his conviction in September, the Mail revealed he had proposed to her and given her a ring while still married to the two other women – although she denied they were together when approached at the home they share.
Mrs Fortune, 53, also spoke of Hayter’s passion for ‘playing away’, calls from other women who would slam the phone down when she answered, and how he used two phones
When Ms Fortune discovered her estranged husband was dating Mrs Larcombe (pictured), she contacted her on Facebook to warn ‘what he was like’
The court heard yesterday they were still in a relationship although ‘she insists they’re not engaged’.
Both declined to comment after the hearing.
Hayter met his first wife, Teresa Fortune, in 1993 and they married the following year.
Mrs Fortune, 53, who has since remarried, revealed how he led a double life with her as well, with phone calls coming from a variety of women who would hurriedly put the phone down when she answered. Hayter also owned two phones.
They were living in Northern Ireland, where her then husband had been posted after switching from the 2nd Battalion The Coldstream Guards to join the Military Police, when a soldier called Mel came to the house in 2006 and demanded where Hayter was.
After discovering her husband had claimed he had left her, the two women confronted him.
‘All the way back home in the car he was begging me not to leave him and saying he was sorry. I had him back but two weeks later he went back to Mel,’ she said.
In her statement, Mrs Hayter (pictured) added she thought her husband’s absences were due to training as a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service
The couple reunited but finally divorced in 2009 on the grounds of Hayter’s adultery.
Mrs Fortune, who was working for the Ministry of Defence in admin at the time, added: ‘He was a convincing liar, always had an answer, and always made me think I was the one who got it wrong.’
When she later discovered her estranged husband was dating Mrs Larcombe, she contacted her on Facebook to warn ‘what he was like’. She believes Hayter was still seeing Mel while his new fiancée was pregnant with their son.
Neither Mrs Hayter nor Mrs Larcombe were in court for the sentencing.
In a victim impact statement read out at the plea hearing in September, Mrs Larcombe described how her husband was ‘always going backwards and forwards to the UK for training’ while he was based in Germany with her.
She said: ‘I never thought anything was wrong. Him being away was normal for us.’
But after one absence he texted her to say: ‘I don’t love you anymore.’
Mrs Larcombe said he abandoned her and she had to fend off debt collectors, saying: ‘He walked out on me and the children. He has never sent a birthday card and never asked about the children. We have had nothing from him.
‘I was shocked to learn that he had married again and had three other children.’
Hayter was posted to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan during his 24-year military career
Mrs Hayter said in her statement that her husband’s time away had been explained as training as a paramedic for London Ambulance Service.
She added: ‘I don’t want anything more to do with him. I did not see this coming. He manipulated me.
‘I believe everything he has said is a lie. I don’t think he knows the truth anymore.’
Charles Judge, defending, told the court today his client’s work with the Army and as a paramedic had created an ‘emotional rollercoaster’.
‘There were lots of stresses and strains. He wasn’t able to deal with relationships in a way one would consider normal or acceptable,’ he said.
He added: ‘There is every prospect of rehabilitation. He has certainly learned his lesson in terms of relationships and what’s the right thing to do.’
Hayter, who is now unemployed and registered disabled, was told he would have to wear an electronic tag and follow a 7pm to 7am curfew for eight weeks. He was also ordered to pay costs of £100.
Mrs Fortune, who met Hayter in 1993, finally divorced him on the grounds of adultery in 2009