A bogus bridegroom married a woman he had never met – and did not speak the same language – to gain British citizenship.
Salauddin Patel, 37, even managed to persuade a local magistrate to sign passport photos for the woman he said was his wife – despite the magistrate never having met her.
This was, in every sense, a sham of a marriage and they never saw each other again after the ceremony.Francis McEntee
Preston Crown Court heard Patel came to the UK from India in 2000. He was granted a working holiday visa allowing him to remain and work until October 2002.
But as the visa was set to expire a man – known only as Ilyas – approached a woman called Zarkha Faruq and made a deal for her to marry Patel.
Undeterred by her existing marriage to a man in Pakistan, Faruq agreed and a date was set for the pair to tie the knot at Blackburn Registry Office.
Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “She spoke only English and Punjabi – he spoke only Gujerati and Urdu.
“This was, in every sense, a sham of a marriage and they never saw each other again after the ceremony.”
The following year Patel, of East View, Deepdale, was granted leave to remain in the UK and after five years of residency was granted British Citizenship.
Faruk admitted her part in the fake marriage. Patel was deemed unfit to enter a plea to charges of fraud and obtaining a false passport but the court ruled he had carried out the actions.
Judge Altham handed Patel a two-year supervision order with the condition he continues to receive medical assistance.