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Anorak | Rev Nathan Ntege Survives The Lying Border Police But Is Wounded By The Daily Mail’s Hatchet

Rev Nathan Ntege Survives The Lying Border Police But Is Wounded By The Daily Mail’s Hatchet

by | 24th, October 2014

ARE the police delibertely stupid? The trial of a vicar accued of presideing over sham marriages has collapsed. Why? Well, the judge thought the ‘The UK Border Agency officers “deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath”.  Officers have been suspended from their duties.

The Times:

The trial of a vicar who had denied conducting almost 500 sham marriages has collapsed after a judge ruled that immigration officers lied on oath. The Rev Nathan Ntege and the verger and secretary of his church were accused of being part of a “conveyor belt” of bogus weddings to allow foreign brides and grooms to remain in Britain.

Brides allegedly shared wedding dresses as the number of ceremonies at St Jude with St Aidan in Thornton Heath, south London, increased from six a year to as many as six a day. The trial, at Inner London Crown Court, was stopped after six weeks of prosecution evidence when Judge Nic Madge said that there had “been both bad faith and serious misconduct on the part of the prosecution” during the trial of seven people.

And this:

The judge asked whether it was appropriate that Maggie Harkins, an immigration officer, had been put in charge of the case as she had posted “Peppa Pig against Muslims” on her Facebook page.

Rev. Ntege tells Channel 4 News:

“Most of them were legitimate. I don’t say we weren’t duped – there were a few who tried to use the advantage – but whenever they were caught, we reported it to the diocese, the Home Office and the police.”

The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror focuses on elements of the case that the Times does not.

They tell readers that the innocent vicar was born in Uganda. The Mail says he came for a meeting and claimed asylum, which was granted:

The vicar was ‘fast-tracked’ into the post because officials were desperate to recruit more Africans – and in the words of the prosecutor, thought he brought ‘a bit of colour to proceedings’ in the Church…

Most of the weddings involved Bulgarians who had the right to live and work in Britain marrying husbands or wives from outside the EU whose UK visas had expired.

…he presided over an astronomical surge in a weddings at his South London church – from a handful of year to an amazing nine a day – mostly between Africans and European Union citizens, who have the right for themselves, and their spouses, to live in Britain.

The man is innocent. But the Mail raises the hatchet and gives the side eyes:

Ntege was born a couple of hours north of Kampala in the ramshackle and dusty town of Luwero. He was sent to lodge with a family friend in the capital while going to school there. He lived in a sparsely decorated, shabby tin-roofed bungalow….

How is any of that relevant to a trial thrown out of court because officers could not stick to rules?

But, then, mistakes can be made. The Croydon Advertiser says 492 marriages were under investigation. The Telegraph says it’s 494.

The Times ends its report with a killer line:

The Bishop of Southwark has met Mr Ntege to discuss his return to work, promising him “oversight and support in the light of the issues raised by this matter”.

It’s now an ecumenical matter…



Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink