Ghanaian Bride Arrested On Her Wedding Day In UK

A 45-year-old Ghanaian bride named Cecilia Siaw was arrested by immigration enforcement officers on her wedding day, Mirror reports.

The bride, according to the report, was preparing to wed her German partner at Portsmouth Register Office, in Burnaby Road, UK, when the immigration enforcement officers, who had been tipped off about the ceremony, arrested her.

Sources say she was thereafter detained and taken to Portsmouth Central police station where she was forced to take a mug shut in her wedding gown.

The qualified teacher entered the UK in 2009 legitimately but the Home Office responsible for immigration refused to extend her leave to remain in 2013, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

According to the prosecutor, James Kellam, the University of Portsmouth student paid £5,000 to a man she met on a train for a ‘leave to remain’ identity document registered to an Indian man, but she was discovered when she used the document at work and the Home Office spotted the discrepancy.

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Kellam said, “At interview she claimed she bought the document from a man on a train in circumstance which must have alerted her to the document being either false or improperly obtained.

I say that because the man from whom she bought the document, she says, claimed to work for the Home Office and the defendant said she paid £5,000 for a leave to remain document.”

Siaw’s lawyer, Oscar Vincent, said, “At the time of her arrest Mrs Siaw and her husband were at Portsmouth Register Office for a ceremony to register their marriage in the UK. She was arrested in her wedding dress immediately before the ceremony.”

Vincent added that Siaw also worked as a healthcare support worker looking after vulnerable people after studying for her master’s degree.

He said, “This is a lady who on completion of her studies in 2011 genuinely has made a contribution to the UK.”

Mirror reports that Siaw, who is currently appealing a deportation notice, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an identity document with improper intention and a count of knowingly remaining beyond the time limited by leave to remain.

However, the presiding Judge, Roger Hetherington, sentenced her to six months in prison, saying, “I have no alternative but to impose an immediate prison sentence.”

The court heard that Siaw, who has never claimed benefits, was refused an extension in 2013 and bought the document between December 2014 and June this year.

Photo credit: Solen/Getty

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“Ghanaian Bride Arrested On Her Wedding Day In UK”

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