Thornton Heath sham marriages trial postponed until November

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Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Croydon

A vicar accused of conducting nearly 500 sham marriages at a Thornton Heath church has had his trial date put back until September.

Reverend Nathan Ntege is charged with 14 immigration offences in relation to 492 marriages held at St Jude's and St Aidan's Church in Thornton Heath.

The 54-year-old was due to stand trial at Inner London Crown Court on Monday, with his 80-year-old verger Brian Miller of Owl Close, Selsdon, who faces the same charges, in relation to marriages conducted between December 2009 and March 2011.

But the trial has been put back until September 8.

Also standing trial on that date will be Gilena Petkova, aged 51.

She is accused of helping to arrange some of the fake ceremonies and was allegedly married in one of the sham ceremonies herself.

And the secretary of the Thornton Road church, Maudlyn Riviere, has also been charged with an immigration offence.

The trial was originally supposed to start on November 4 last year.




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