Clergy sham marriage charges

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Law & Disorder

IlieThe Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorised the London immigration crime team to charge two Church of England clergy with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration.

Andrew Hadik, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said:

”Having considered a full file of evidence in this case, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Reverend Brian Shipsides and Reverend Elwon John for conspiring to facilitate entry and to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK in breach of immigration law. 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.”

Rev Elwon John, then 43, was arrested at his home in Kennedy Road, Barking, on suspicion of conspiracy to facilitate breaches of immigration law, on August 3 last year.

The associate minister at All Saints Church, Hampton Road, Forest Gate, was taken into custody along with Rev Brian Shipsides, 54, a minister at St Edmunds Church, Katherine Road, Forest Gate.

They will appear at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Friday 25 March.

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