Pair in court on ‘sham marriage’ charges

Mandeep Lather and Abigail Smith stand accused at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
Mandeep Lather and Abigail Smith stand accused at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
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AN INDIAN citizen and a woman who was allegedly married to somebody else have appeared in court charged on ‘sham’ wedding charges.

Mandeep Lather,24, and Abigail Smith,29, allegedly tried on two occasions last year to tie the knot in the Edinburgh area.

Prosecutors claim the pair tried to marry in a bid to stop Mr Lather from being deported from the United Kingdom.

Crown lawyers also claim that Ms Smith also told a registrar before the wedding ceremonies that she wasn’t married and that she was a single woman.

The claims emerged on Tuesday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court before Sheriff Frank Crowe.

Prosecutors claim that Ms Smith knowingly gave false details to assistant registrar Jill McCaul at the Registrars Office in Ferry Road,Edinburgh on February 26 2014.

They say that she told Ms McCaul that she was single when the truth was that she was married to another person.

They also allege that on March 13 2014, at the same location, Mr Lather by means of deception attempted to enter into marriage with Ms Smith.

Prosecution briefs claim he did this with the intention of avoiding being deported.

It is also alleged that on March 25 2014,at the same location, he tried to marry Ms Smith for a second time with the same purpose of avoiding deportation.

Prosecutors have also alleged that on March 13 2015, Ms Smith broke immigration laws by assisting an individual who was attempting to avoid deportation.

On Tuesday, Mr Lather and Ms Smith, of Kirk Street, Edinburgh, entered not guilty pleas to the four charges when they appeared in the dock.

Sheriff Crowe continued the case to another procedural hearing which will call at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on March 19 2015.