A babysitter could face jail next month after she faked a marriage to a Nigerian illegal immigrant so he could stay in the UK.
Emma Louise Evans, 34, confessed to taking part in a ‘marriage of convenience’ with Kazeem Kolade at Blackburn Register Office in July 2012.
Burnley Crown Court heard the sham marriage was later annulled so that Evans could genuinely marry her partner Stephen Akinseye, 45, in January the following year.
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 .
The court heard defence counsel Mark Stuart was able to produce a divorce certificate, after making inquiries with the Nigerian High Commission, to prove that the first ‘wedding’ had been annulled.
Now prosecutors have accepted the second marriage was neither bigamous nor fake and dropped the second sham marriage allegation.
Requesting a pre-sentence report for Evans, Mr Stuart said: “The defendant is a lady of good character.”
Evans, of Burnley, Lancs, will be sentenced for the one count of taking part in a marriage of convenience on December 9.
Adjourning the case, Judge Harry Narayan told her: “All sentencing options, including a custodial sentence, remain open to the court.”
The court was not told of the whereabouts of Kolade – or whether he has now been booted out of Britain.
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”.
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.”