New trial for East Ham woman for ‘fake marriage scam’
An East Ham woman could face a retrial over allegation that she tried to marry an illegal immigrant in exchange for money.
Lithuanian-born Rita Bausyte, 37, had been accused of faking romantic photographs with Asad Rehmen Alvi to persuade Home Office officials that they were a couple.
She allegedly applied for permission to wed the Pakistani hours after meeting him in Romford, even though she was in a five-year relationship with another man.
The shopworker had been asked by her landlord to go through with the sham wedding, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Jurors were shown pictures of Bausyte cuddling up to Mr Alvi, allegedly taken in the hours before she applied for a certificate of approval for marriage.
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She was accused of sending the form to the Home Office, together with her passport, on November 12, 2009.
But the jury failed to decide whether Bausyte was guilty of helping Mr Alvi break immigration laws, despite having deliberated for more than four and a half hours. She denies trying to help him remain in the UK illegally, claiming instead that her documents had been stolen and her signature forged on the application.
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The photos merely show her being friendly to Mr Alvi after he asked for pictures to send to his friends in Pakistan, she said.
Bausyte, of Roman Road, East Ham, now faces an anxious wait while prosecutors decide whether or not to pursue the case.
At the time the offence is alleged to have been committed she was living in a shared house in Eastbrook Drive, Romford.