Fake bride confesses to sham marriage
A fake bride has pleaded guilty to taking part in a sham marriage, but her alleged groom has denied the offence.
At Downpatrick Crown Court, Fatou N'Diaye (26) owned up to conspiring to assist unlawful immigration by marrying Dominic Nartey at Newtownards registry office on December 19, 2013.
A witness to the alleged sham wedding, 44-year-old Massiamie Bamba, with an address in London, also admitted assisting unlawful immigration, but the alleged fake groom, Cameroon national Nartey (29) from Cardiff, denied the conspiracy charge and a further offence of possessing another person's identity document.
Alongside them in the dock was wedding witness Elvis Asaah (30), from Cardiff, wedding organiser Ben Ahmed Doumbia (36), from London, and interpreter Joseph Movuh Vutung, from Manchester, who each denied a charge of encouraging or assisting in an offence to be committed.
Previous courts had heard how officers swooped on Newtownards registry office as Nartey and N'Diaye were about to marry and that the bride and the groom only met for the first time on the morning of their wedding.
French national N'Diaye had admitted during police interviews that she knew the marriage was a sham, and also revealed that she had done it before and was in fact still married as a result.
A provisional trial date was set for the start of December.