Two Forest Gate clergyman arrested in sham marriage probe

Two clergymen from Forest Gate have been arrested over claims they conducted sham marriages.

Revs Brian Shipsides, 54, and Elwon John, 44, have been charged with conspiring to facilitate entry and to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK in breach of immigration law, which carries a maximum 14 years imprisonment on conviction.

The charges relate to approximately 200 marriages, the majority between EU and non-EU residents, conducted by both clergymen between December 2007 and the end of July 2010.

The clergymen, who have been suspended from duties at All Saints Church, Romford Road and St Edmunds in Katherine Road, by the Church of England, will appear at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on March 25.

The two men were held last year after UK Border Agency officials and police swooped on their homes in Forest Gate,