Dis­graced cel­e­brant dereg­is­tered


Kwinana Courier - - News - Gabrielle Jef­fery

THE Rock­ing­ham mar­riage cel­e­brant con­victed of mar­ry­ing an unconscious, dy­ing woman has been dereg­is­tered.

Diane Cara­toz­zoloWadding­ton was con­victed of fail­ing to solem­nise a mar­riage on July 10, after pre­sid­ing over the mar­riage of ter­mi­nally ill and unconscious Sophia Wil­liams to Mal­colm Byrne.

Ms Wil­liams’ fam­ily re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion of the de­ci­sion to dereg­is­ter Cara­tozzo- lo-Wadding­ton by the Com­mon­wealth Regis­trar of Mar­riage Cel­e­brants last week.

The an­nounce­ment came just short of two years after the wed­ding, in which Ms Wil­liams, who was ter­mi­nally ill with can­cer, was mar­ried to Mr Byrne while unconscious.

The Rock­ing­ham Mag­is­trates Court heard ear­lier this year that Cara­toz­zoloWadding­ton in­di­cated to Mr Byrne dur­ing the cer­e­mony that he should put a pen in Ms Wil­liams’ hand and sign an ‘X’ for her sig­na­ture on the mar­riage cer­tifi­cate.

Ms Wil­liams never re­gained con­scious­ness and died shortly after the cer­e­mony.

Cara­toz­zolo-Wadding­ton re­ceived a penalty equiv­a­lent to a good be­hav­iour bond after plead­ing guilty to the charge of pur­port­ing to solem­nise a mar­riage.

In last week’s rul­ing, the regis­trar found that the orig­i­nal com­plaint against the cel­e­brant – that she had failed to solem­nise the mar­riage and later know­ingly sub­mit­ted falsified mar­riage doc­u­ments – was well-founded.

The regis­trar noted the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ments was most se­ri­ous as the le­gal con­se­quences of mar­riage were sig­nif­i­cant, and must be strictly ad­hered to by all au­tho­rised cel­e­brants.

They also stated they were sat­is­fied that Ms Wil­liams would not have been ca­pa­ble of sign­ing the cer­tifi­cate or able to ac­knowl­edge the wed­ding vows.

Sophia Wil­liams’ mother said she was re­lieved by the news.

“We thank all the fam­ily and friends that brought this to light and what they have done for Sophia, par­tic­u­larly her son Austin, his fa­ther, un­cle and my­self, along with the rest of the fam­ily,” she said.

“Sophia can rest in peace as a Wil­liams and not a Byrne.”

Cara­toz­zolo-Wadding­ton and Mr Byrne were con­tacted for com­ment.

Diane Cara­toz­zolo-Wadding­ton.

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