A man and wife who each wed someone else in sham marriages in a bid to stay in the UK have both walked free from court.Well, of course!
They kept their freedom because they are to give evidence against a co-accused in the scam.Really? How does that tally with this?
Mercy Idehen, 44, a cook, and her partner, 46, were both of previous good character.
Prosecutor Stephen Parker said the defendants arrived in this country illegally in 2003/2004 from Italy and have children aged nine, 10 and 12.Strange idea of ‘good character’, deliberately breaking a country’s residence laws…
* Yeah, I know it’s really a legal term meaning ‘You don’t have any convictions’ but still…
Two Eastern Europeans who are here presumably via EU accession, use the established conventions on recognizing marriages and EU nationality to sell sham marriages to two Nigerians. The Nigerians usually have to pay several thousand pounds and expect to gain a right to remain.
They then contract marriages - note this - via the church, rather than the register office. CoE vicars are responsible not only for carrying out a religious wedding but for notifying that on the Marriage Register so they are supposed to carry out checks on eligibility.
So...the vicar/ ends due to possibility of a case in play.
There is also usually a fixer, an immigration lawyer or advisor, and someone willing to contract for money.
This was one in Essex, rather than Manchester/Lancashire
The situation is complicated in that some Christians have an ambivalent attitude to using marriage for legal, rather than spiritual, purposes and regularly discuss whether it is consistent with Christian doctrine to use marriage as a dodge round civil situations which might otherwise result in deportation.
For example, although he was later in love with her, when CS Lewis married Joy Davidman Gresham in 1956 it was a marriage of convenience so that US divorcee Joy could stay in Britain with her boys and receive cancer treatment (such as it was) on the newly-minted NHS.
It's an interesting crime because marriage, whether civil or religious, doesn't have any actually quality-control standards. One is not legally obliged to have sex, cohabit or even talk to a spouse. You can get a divorce if the behaviour bothers you, but you don't have to. You can't sue lack of performance, nor is it a criminal matter if one spouse carries on relations with other people.
So how exactly do you define, legally, the difference between a sham marrige and a real one?
March 14 2011
Police are looking at hundreds of weddings conducted by the Rev Canon Dr Patrick John Magumba.
The news was broken to his congregation at St Peter’s Church, in Newbold, Rochdale, yesterday morning.
Charges followed on 31 August.
March 14 2011
The Rev Brian Shipsides, 54, and the Rev Elwon John, 44,
"The charges relate to approximately 200 marriages, the majority between EU and non-EU residents, conducted by both clergymen at All Saints Church, Forest Gate, London, between December 2007 and the end of July 2010."
They pleaded not guilty on 1st August 2011, trial set for Inner London Crown Court on January 23 2012.
6 August 2011 11:23am
Rev Nathan Ntege, of St Jude with St Aidan Church in Thornton Heath, south London, has been bailed pending further inquiries until Dec 6
A UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said: "A 52-year-old man was arrested at an address in Thornton Heath on the morning of Saturday 4 June in connection with an investigation into sham marriages in south London."
He was arrested on suspicion of carrying out an act to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law.
An instinct to find the scam ahead of the breast separates Nigerian newborns from all others.
Blimey I actually agree with Melvin on something.
Blimey I actually agree with Melvin on something
"The situation is complicated in that some Christians have an ambivalent attitude to using marriage for legal, rather than spiritual, purposes and regularly discuss whether it is consistent with Christian doctrine to use marriage as a dodge round civil situations which might otherwise result in deportation. "
It's not bad enough we have activist judges, we now have to have activist vicars? Gah!
"So how exactly do you define, legally, the difference between a sham marrige and a real one?"
I'm sure the UKBA had a huuuuuuuuuuge bible of guidelines on it...
It certainly does seem to be a growing problem, exacerbated by the EU Freedom of Movement legislation.
"Blimey I actually agree with Melvin on something."
Cherish this moment.. ;)
"Cherish this moment.. ;)"
You are inclined to get a few things wrong but be certain it will not compromise your daily visits to Gadget by supporting at my expense, one of her abusive, cowardly and anonymous contributors. :)
Not sure if that was a dig at me or Julia, MTG. I suppose even a broken clock is right twice a day.
"Not sure if that was a dig at me or Julia, MTG"
You can't get the staff these days.
q.v. my comment above.
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