Jailed: Bride and groom who didn't speak the same language

3 December 2013   A PAKISTANI groom and his Hungarian bride were rumbled when the registrar realised they didn’t speak the same language.
Both have been jailed over the attempted sham marriage in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Sufyan Shahzad, aged 25 and Katalin Ottlyk, aged 30, tried to wed so Shahzad could remain in the UK.
Maria Baloggojkovitsne, aged 39, of Glen Avenue, Bolton, was due to stand trial on November 27 for her part in allegedly arranging the sham ceremony.
She is thought to have fled the country — with an outstanding warrant for her arrest still in place.
Ottlyk, from Hungary and Shahzad, from Pakistan, had previously pleaded guilty to taking part in the fake ceremony at Blackburn Register office on July 27 this year — which was interrupted by immigration officers who arrested those involved.
Officers had been alerted by the Registrar at Blackburn, who had previously met with the couple and become suspicious as they “did not interact with each other or speak the same language”, Bolton Crown Court heard.
Prosecuting, Phillip Parry explained Ottlyk had also used a false identification card during the process, which was later found to have been stolen from a woman in Hungary.
Shahzad, who was living in Cheetham Hill, was in the country legally until his student visa expired in December 2012. When he was originally interviewed after his arrest, he claimed his relationship with Ottlyk was a genuine one — but this was brought into question when he could not give officers any information about his fiancé.
The court heard Ottlyk, who was paid £1,500 for her part as the bride, admitted the whole arrangement was a sham.
Her barrister, Kimberley Morton, said: “She was very frank in her interview and accepts her guilt.
“She originally felt sorry for Mr Shahzad but she also that she received financial reward — but this was a one off incident and not a sophisticated one.”
Judge Timothy Stead sentenced both to 20 months in prison — with an extra four months added to Ottlyk’s term for her use of the false identification card.
He said: “You had no intention of being married to each other, it was done entirely so that you, Mr Shahzad could gain a permanent extension of your right to remain in the UK and Katalin Ottlyk acted in the course of this conspiracy for money — it is as simple as that.
“Bogus marriages are an abuse of the institution of marriage and an abuse UK immigration law.”