Tanya Ossack has concluded in the sham marriages trial at Inner London Crown Court after the proceedings were halted after six weeks following successful abuse of process arguments brought by the defence.
The prosecution brought by CPS on behalf of UKBA, alleged that the Rev Nathan Ntege conducted over 400 sham marriages at his Church- Church of St Jude's and St Aiden in Thornton Heath. Rev Ntege had been at the church since 2002, having come from Kampala. Tanya's client had been a member of the Church long before the Reverend arrived. He is a retired dental technician, ex RAF, and 79 at time of arrest, 81 at time of trial. The judge described him as a man of exemplary good character and he had always helped out at the church. He was not the verger at the church, although he did some of the jobs a verger might do.
Tanya's client had been on bail for three years by the beginning of the trial, his home had been raided at 7 in the morning by 5 officers and he was accompanied to the police station, where he was interviewed under caution.
The Reverend was charged along with Tanya's client, the Church Secretary, two "Bulgarian fixers", and two people whom the prosecutors alleged had been married in this "bogus" way.
The trial collapsed after it was shown that at least three of the immigration officers involved had lied on oath, destroyed evidence- a film of the raid on the church- and had withheld vital information from the Defence. They had come to view anything that helped the defence, as something they should destroy or tamper with.
At the end of the prosecution case, Abuse of Process arguments were successfully mounted by all counsel- based upon the bad faith and misconduct of the immigration staff.
Following the collapse of the prosecution, HHJ Madge posed a list of significant questions for the Home Office and the CPS to answer.
Please click below to read Judge Madge's ruling in this case.
Tanya was instructed by Blackfords LLP
29 October 2014