A woman convicted of bigamy and setting her car on fire for an insurance scam has narrowly avoided prison.

Razia Sahib was sentenced at Auckland District Court today to four months' community detention and 120 hours' community work.

Judge Gus Andree Wiltens said Sahib was already married when she was caught out trying to wed for the second time.

He dismissed arguments from Sahib's lawyer Isaac Koya that she had been under the influence of a man 20 years her senior.


Judge Andree Wiltens said he believed it had been Sahib who had proposed marriage.

In sentencing her on a charge of attempting to obtain by deception, Judge Wiltens said Sahib had driven her car to a secluded spot, followed by the man she tried to marry.

He said Sahib set fire to the car and got a lift back to town with him. She made a $12,000 claim to her insurance company the following day but the company never paid out.

Judge Andree Wiltens said it seemed Sahib's partner had not been charged with bigamy and had also escaped punishment for his part in the insurance scam.

"But I can't deal with that."

He said both charges were serious but took Sahib's previous good record into account.

"Consider yourself lucky not to be incarcerated because this was blatant dishonesty."

Outside court, Sahib declined to comment.

In February this year, Auckland man Rodney Peach was sentenced to 120 hours' community work and nine months' supervision after pleading guilty to bigamy and using a forged document.

He had married his partner in front of her friends an family last December, while still married to his unsuspecting wife of 28 years.

Two days after the ceremony, the 52-year-old walked into Howick police station and confessed to police what he had done.