Mar­riage scam vicar gets jail

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

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.”

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