Paul Cheston, London Evening Standard, January 25, 2012
A vicar has admitted arranging hundreds of sham marriages to enable African immigrants to stay in Britain illegally.
The Rev Brian Shipsides, 55, presided over bogus ceremonies at All Saints Church, Forest Gate for over two years in a “massive” plot, Inner London crown court heard.
With his colleague, the Rev Elwon John, 54, he married EU residents to mainly Nigerian spouses, it is claimed. Amdudalat Ladipo, 31, a Nigerian woman living in Dagenham, is alleged to have acted as marriage “fixer”.
Shipsides, who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for officiating at the wedding of the world’s tallest married couple in 2001, admitted conspiracy to facilitate immigration law breaches and will be sentenced later. John, of Barking, and Ladipo, of Dagenham, deny the charge. Ladipo also denies possessing a false Nigerian passport. The trial continues.