New trial date announced for ‘sham marriage’ vicar

Reverend Nathan Ntege

Reverend Nathan Ntege

A  new trial date has been set for the Croydon vicar accused of overseeing hundreds of fake marriages.

Reverend Nathan Ntege, 53, is charged with 14 immigration offences relating 492 marriages held between December 2009 and March 2011. The trial will begin on January 27 in the new year.

Ntege will be joined in court by verger Brian Miller, 79, from Selsdon, and Galina Petkova, 50. Miller is charged with the same offences as Ntege, whereas Petkova is alleged to have acted as a “fixer” for a number of the weddings.

Petkova, also accused of being married in a fake ceremony herself, is charged with conspiracy and five counts of assisting illegal entry.

Home Office investigators are not certain of how many of the marriages, which took place at the Church of St Jude’s and St Aidan’s in Thornton Heath, were valid. Ntege, who has a Ugandan background, was first arrested in June 2011.

The trio, who have yet to formally enter pleas, appeared at Inner London Crown Court for what was due to be a case management last Friday. A further case management hearing has been scheduled for January 20 ahead of a trial.

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