A married woman has appeared in court on charges of making a false statement to a registrar, after she allegedly illegally entered into a civil partnership.

Suzanne Mitchell appeared before Shrewsbury magistrates today and was bailed to appear before the crown court at a later date.

The 29-year-old lives in Wingfield Gardens in the town.

The BBC reports that Ms Mitchell, a mother of three children, denied the charges.

She entered into a civil partnership in February 2006 with Caroline Beddowes while still being married to a man, it is alleged.

It is thought to be the first case of its kind since civil partnerships became legal in December 2005.

The charge of making a false statement to a registrar is not the same as bigamy, where a person enters into a marriage while still already married to another person.

A person guilty of an offence of making a false statement is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to a fine (or both).