Marriage scam vicar gets jail
A VICAR who made thousands on the back of a sham marriage plot helping 250 illegal immigrants stay in the country has been jailed.
Shamed Rev Brian Shipsides, 56, jetted “all over the world” after charging £140 a time for the bogus ceremonies at All Saints Church, Forest Gate, east London.
The sideline raked in at least £30,000 in undeclared income for Shipsides – who appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for officiating at the wedding of the world’s tallest married couple.
He was so dedicated to carrying out the ceremonies that he lied to church authorities when they ordered him to cancel one suspect wedding.
Shipsides admitted conspiracy to facilitate breaches of immigration laws at Inner London Crown Court.
Jailing him for four and a half years, Judge Peter Grobel said: “Your important role in this conspiracy was a disgraceful abuse of your calling as an ordained minister of the church.”