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Barking vicar denies sham marriage charges

PUBLISHED: 16:07 01 August 2011

Rev Elwon John

Rev Elwon John

Archant

A Barking vicar has denied presiding over hundreds of sham marriages as part of ploy to help illegal immigrants stay in the UK.

Rev Elwon John, 50, of Kennedy Close, pleaded not guilty conspiring to facilitate breaches of immigration law between December 28, 2007, and August 4 last year.

His colleague at All Saints Church in Forest Gate, Rev Brian Shipsides, 55, also pleaded not guilty to the same offences.

The marriages are said to have taken place between EU and non-EU citizens who wished to gain right of address in Britain.

A third defendant, 31-year-old Amdudalat Ladipo, of Grosvenor Road, denies the same charge.

Ladipo earlier pleaded not guilty to a further allegation of possessing a false Nigerian passport in the name of Elizabeth Udeme Bernard on July 31 last year.

All three are to stand trial before Inner London Crown Court on January 23 next year.

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