Emma Louise, 34, confessed to taking part in a
‘marriage of convenience’ with Kazeem Kolade but charges that she
bigamously married a second man in another sham wedding were later
Burnley Crown Court heard that her marriage to Kolade
was annulled so that Evans could genuinely marry her partner Stephen
Akinseye, 45, in January 2013.
Initially Evans was accused of
two suspected sham marriages – the first to Kolade and the second to Mr
Akinseye – as well as a third charge of bigamy.
Now prosecutors have accepted the second marriage was neither bigamous nor fake and dropped the second sham marriage allegation.
Evans, of Burnley, Lancashire, will be sentenced for the one count of taking part in a ‘marriage of convenience’ on December 9.
the case, Judge Harry Narayan told her: ‘The fact that I am going to
bail you in order for a pre-sentence report is no indication as to
‘All sentencing options, including a custodial sentence, remain open to the court.’
admitted taking part in the sham marriage to Kolade in order to assist
his illegal immigration by deception, so the Nigerian could remain in
the UK, the court heard.
The pair wed at Blackburn Register Office in July 2012.
Evans strenuously denied bigamy, and also a third charge of taking part
in a second sham marriage with Mr Akinseye at Burnley.
case was adjourned last year for further investigations, she was able
to convince prosecutors she did not go on to bigamously marry Mr
After making enquiries with the Nigerian High
Commission, her defence counsel Mark Stuart was able to produce a
divorce certificate to prove that Evans’ first marriage had been
Prosecutor Neil Bisarya said the pleas were acceptable
to the Crown, after legal discussions had taken place with Mr Stuart,
and further consideration of the evidence in the case.
Narayan formally entered a not guilty verdict on the bigamy offence and
allowed the second sham marriage charge for Mr Akinseye to lie on the
The former Accrington and Rossendale College and
Fearns High student now faces being sentenced next month on the one sham
The court was not told of the whereabouts of
Kolade, or whether he has now been removed from the UK. At the time of
his arrest he faced deportation as his temporary visa had expired.
Requesting a pre-sentence report for Evans, Mr Stuart said: ‘The defendant is a lady of good character.’
last year a senior Government official warned that sham marriages are a
‘massive loophole’ in Britain’s border controls and amount to a ‘golden
ticket’ into the country for immigrants.
John Vine, the chief
inspector of Borders and Immigration, highlighted serious failings in
the way officials are attempting to combat bogus marriages.
His report found evidence it could be a ‘growing problem’, but intelligence on the true picture was ‘lagging behind’.
significant number of sham marriages may be going undetected because
register offices are failing to report suspicious couples to immigration
officials, the report added.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘Registrars have a duty to report suspected sham marriages to the Home Office.
‘We are working more closely with the General Register Office to increase awareness and improve the national response.’
Culled from DailyMail