Chris Smith and James Gelsthorpe prosecute sham marriage case

Chris Smith and James Gelsthorpe have secured convictions of four individuals involved in a sophisticated conspiracy to breach immigration law. Sham marriages had been arranged for a number of Pakistani males in the hope that the weddings could help them secure a permanent right to live in the UK. Thousands of pounds had changed hands in the course of a criminal enterprise that spanned more than three-and-a-half years. The four defendants were jailed earlier this week by HHJ Murphy QC after a trial lasting four weeks. It took the Jury just two hours to reach their unanimous verdicts. The case involved more than 2,500 pages of evidence and featured a vulnerable defendant who had pleaded guilty and gave evidence for the Crown. The evidence in the case included telephone data, material obtained from Facebook and more than 1,100 pages of interviews. The case attracted widespread regional and national publicity and has now been adjourned pending confiscation proceedings.

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