Four admit conspiracy over bogus marriages

FOUR defendants yesterday admitted playing a part in helping sham marriages to take place in South Yorkshire.

A bride and groom were arrested last summer in Sheffield shortly after marrying at the city's register office.

Slovakian bride Barbora Vilckova, 35, and her Pakistani groom Ahmed Subhani, 32, were arrested last July by UK Border Agency officers as part of a nationwide operation to crack down on sham marriages.

Neither Vilckova, of Brooks Bank Avenue, Bradford, nor Subhani, of Chester Avenue, Luton, was present when pleas were entered by their fellow defendants at Sheffield Crown Court.

The charges relate to three alleged sham marriages involving a total of six defendants.

Slovakians Milan Benak, 38, and Gizar Demeter, 35, both from Bradford, and Pakistani Sajid Mehmood, 36, from Sheffield, admitted conspiring to obtain leave in the UK for Subhani by deception, namely a sham marriage.

Subhani has already pleaded guilty to conspiring to obtain leave to remain in the UK through deception and signing a false certificate to procure a marriage. Vilckova faces the same charges.

Mehmood is facing a separate charge regarding a second sham marriage, but he has not yet been asked to enter a plea on this charge.

Mother-of-three Kornelie Ferkova admitted a joint charge with Mehmood of conspiring to obtain leave in the UK by deception for a man involved in a third bogus marriage.

All four defendants who entered pleas yesterday are expected to be sentenced along with Subhani by the end of the month.

Judge Graham Robinson warned them: "There is no indication as to the likely sentence, all options are open."

The three men were remanded in custody and Ferkova was bailed.