A soldier can continue his military career despite being a convicted bigamist, the Ministry of Defence said.

Earlier this year Sergeant Darron Lister was jailed for six months by a military court and dismissed from the Army after he admitted bigamy and a number of other deception offences including perjury.

But following a successful appeal against his sentence, thrice-married Lister (34) was told he could stay in Her Majesty's Armed Forces at the reduced rank of private. His initial six-month prison term was also cut to 56 days.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "We can confirm that Sergeant - now Private - Lister pleaded guilty at a court martial at Aldershot on May 24. He was reduced to the ranks, dismissed from the service and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

"Following a successful petition for review, this (sentence) was reduced to 56 days' detention and to being reduced to the ranks. Private Lister can now continue his Army career. He is still a serving member of the Adjutant General's Corps."

At Aldershot in May, Lister pleaded guilty to one count of bigamy and to one of perjury.

This related to his marriage in September 2002 to his third wife - while he was still married to his estranged second wife, who he wed in 1998.

Lister also admitted ten counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception and six of obtaining services by deception.