Belfast Telegraph

'Sham bride' accused used false divorce certificate for Belfast wedding

A Nigerian woman accused of being a "sham" bride produced a false divorce certificate for her wedding in Belfast, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutors said City Hall registry officials also detected inconsistencies in accounts given by Lynda Eremion and the British citizen she was about to marry.

Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers stopped the ceremony and arrested the couple along with two witnesses on August 28.

Eremion, 29, has been charged with seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deceptive means.

As she applied for bail it emerged that she first arrived on a visa to study at the University of Glamorgan in Wales.

She started a course but left without completing it, the court heard.

Opposing her release, prosecution barrister Conor Maguire claimed a decree absolute Eremion produced to confirm she was divorced was found to be false.

Although the accused initially claimed to live at Heatherbell Street in Belfast with her future husband, Mr Maguire said she later gave her address as Tates Avenue in the city.

Concerns were also raised over the welfare of her three-year-old son.

Mr Maguire added: "She has shown an intent to deceive the authorities by engaging in this sham marriage so she can remain in this country with her child."

Counsel for the defence stressed that Eremion has protested her innocence throughout.

He also pointed to the potential impact on his client's son if she remained in custody until the case goes to trial.

Adjourning the bail application, Mr Justice Horner requested more details from social services and on a possible address.

The judge said: "What I'm concerned about is that the child does not suffer."

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