Magumba: "Nigerians would do anything in their power to come to the UK”
The sham marriage case involving Church of England Vicar Rev. John Magumba has revealed that illegal immigrants are craving for marriage certificates for benefit handouts up to £23,000 per annum.
Judge William Morris at the Bolton Crown Court was told that Rev Patrick John Magumba had asserted the Nigerians “would do anything in their power to come to the UK”.
The prosecution said a single person, who made it to Britain, has instant access to the equivalent of £10,000 in welfare payouts, besides access to the NHS and the education system. The prosecution added a mother and child could get as much as £23,000 annually.
The court was also told that the cost to the taxpayer of one immigrant wrongly entitled to services was £100,000 over a decade, or £230,000 if they had a child.
Judge Morris said: “Your offences have brought scandal to the Church and let down your family and parishioners.”
Prosecutor Joanna Rodikis also told the court that Magumba never passed on the usual £250 fee for a marriage to the church funds.
In one genuine wedding, he overcharged the couple by accepting £600 in cash.
Magumba is the second vicar to be handed down a jail sentence over sham marriages. A spokesman for his diocese said: “Magumba, as an experienced clergyman, was given responsibilities on trust. This trust was broken.”
Responding to the verdict, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance Emma Boon said: “Locking up this vicar sadly isn’t the end of this problem for taxpayers.
“It is no surprise that so many couples are willing to take the risk of undergoing a sham marriage when the immediate access they get to the NHS, education and benefits here is worth so much.”