Friday, January 27, 2012

Two Church of England clergymen ‘conducted hundreds of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain’

This is another aspect of the way the CofE now preaches a Leftist gospel rather than the gospel of Christ. These bozos probably thought that what they were doing was right

Two Church of England vicars conducted 'hundreds' of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain, a court heard today.

The Reverend Elwon John, 44, and Reverend Brian Shipsides, 55, performed the sham wedding ceremonies at All Saints Church in Forest Gate, east London, jurors were told.

Once wed there were a 'strikingly high proportion' who then made applications to the Home Office for the right to remain in the country.

In some cases, EU nationals were even flown into Britain just so the marriages could take place before being flown straight out again, Inner London crown court heard.

According to the prosecution, 31-year-old 'fixer' Amdudalat Ladipo - herself an illegal immigrant - arranged the weddings between mainly Nigerian and EU nationals.

It was not until officers from the Metropolitan Police and UK Border Agency caught wind of the scam that the trio were finally rumbled on July 31, 2010.

All three are now charged with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration. Shipsides has already pleaded guilty. Ladipo and John deny the charges.

David Walbank, prosecuting, said: 'This case involves a massive and systematic immigration fraud. 'At the centre of this fraud is one particular parish church in the east of London, All Saints Church in Forest Gate.

'The Crown’s case is that there took place in that church over a two-and-a-half year period a very large number indeed of sham marriages entered in to for the purpose of immigration.

'Most of the so-called couples participated in these marriage ceremonies were not actually couples at all. 'They were married in that church not because they wished to spend their lives together and wanted the blessing of the church; most of the persons married there for a very different reason. 'Their ultimate purpose was to obtain enhanced rights to enter and live in the United Kingdom.'

Mr Walbank told jurors the majority of the marriages which took place were between Nigerians and nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA), mainly from Portugal and the Netherlands. He added: 'The fraud, the Crown suggest, wasn’t confined to one or two, or even a couple of dozen of ceremonies. We are concerned in this case with hundreds of sham marriages. 'On some occasions EEA nationals were flown into the UK specially for marriages to take place and then flown back out again.'

The court heard Nigerian Ladipo may also have been involved in fixing sham marriages at other churches, although the jury were told she only faces charges in relation to weddings at All Saints.

When police attended the church in July 2010 after being told a number of sham weddings were due to take place there that day they found Ladipo there.

The court heard one of the officers approached her and asked her why she was there. She replied one of her friends was getting married. However, when asked for her friend’s name she is said to have become agitated and was later seen trying to get rid of a brown envelope under a bush in the church grounds.

When seized the enveloped was found to contain a number of ID documents which were not hers and sham paperwork relating to the marriages and she was arrested. Rev John, the curate at All Saints Church, and parish priest Rev Shipsides were arrested a few days later on August 3.

Mr Walbank told jurors: 'If the sham marriages hadn’t been stopped they would have continued at a rate of knots as there were many more booked at the church that would have taken place.'

Jurors heard Ladipo herself may have entered into a sham marriage with a Dutch national in February 2010. 'Her reason for going through with the marriage we suggest is entirely consistent with the motive of others at All Saints Church during the indictment period, to stay in the country,' said Mr Walbank.

Shipsides, of Forest Gate, east London, has already admitted conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration.

Ladipo, of Dagenham, and John, of Barking, both in east London, deny the same charge. Ladipo also denies possessing false identity documents. The trial, expected to take four weeks, continues.


And another one!

Rev Canon Dr Patrick John Magumba

A vicar who conducted 28 sham marriages to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the UK has been jailed for two and a half years. The Reverend Canon John Magumba, 58, married Nigerians to European Union residents to allow them “all the benefits from residence” in this country. The Ugandan-born vicar, a father of six, also pocketed over £8,000 paid in wedding fees for the ceremonies in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Magumba, who appeared at Bolton Crown Court wearing an open neck shirt and no dog collar, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Immigration Act and two charges of theft totalling £8,345. The vicar, who came to Britain from Uganda in 2004, was the team vicar for three churches in Rochdale.

The sham marriages were exposed when church officials noticed a massive explosion in the number of weddings following Magumba’s appointment.

An investigation by the UK Border agency found that there had been 28 sham weddings between Nigerians and EU nationals.

At one church there had been no weddings between 1996 and 2007 but then 21 between 2007 and 2010 - only one of which was genuine.

Magumba, of Deeplish, Rochdale married two women with the same name and same age within a week of each other. He claimed that the women were twins and that it was an African tradition to give twins the same name.

The vicar conducted marriages in secret and failed to read the banns for others or to check the addresses which had been given. He ignored a Church working party instruction to make sure that foreign nationals wanting to marry provide passports, utility bills and addresses “to ensure they were a genuine loving couple.”

The court heard an independent economic report showed that a single illegal immigrant cost the taxpayer £10,000 a year and one with a dependent child cost £23,000 a year.

Mr Hunter Gray, defending, said Magumba had been driven by a “genuine but misguided desire” to help others. “He is a man of genuinely held and deeply felt Christian beliefs and he has fallen spectacularly from grace. “He feels shame and embarrassment that he has let so many people down.”

Judge William Morris jailed him for two years for the immigration offence and six months for the thefts, to run consecutively. He told him: “You repeatedly breached immigration laws which are properly designed to prevent those with no entitlement to reside in the Uk from doing so. "These legal restrictions are essential to ensure taxpayers’ money is only applied to the needs of fellow citizens.”

Immigration Minister Damien Green said after the sentence: “This sentence sends a clear message to anyone breaking our immigration laws that Britain is not a soft touch. “We work closely with the Church to identify sham marriages and identify those who seek to abuse the institution of marriage.”


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