A Church of England vicar has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after carrying out sham weddings.

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A Church of England vicar has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after carrying out sham weddings.

The Rev Canon Dr John Magumba helped with 28 bogus marriages.


John Magumba was jailed following a Border Agency investigation.Fall from grace: Magumba falsified records to cover his tracks

He also stole more than £8,000 from church councils by not declaring income from weddings and funerals.

The scam normally involved marriages between EU citizens and non-Europeans wanting to gain the right to live in the UK.

The weddings were carried out at two Rochdale churches and regularly involved Nigerian nationals and Eastern Europeans.

But the cleric was caught out when a church warden noticed that the same woman got married twice in seven days.

Magumba, 58, lied and falsified official records to cover up the dishonesty. He did carry out at least one legitimate wedding but overcharged the couple by several hundred pounds for the service.


John MagumbaThe cleric is deeply ashamed, his barrister said

At one church the number of weddings taking place increased year-on-year by 2,400%.

Father-of-six Magumba worked as a team vicar for three churches. His barrister told the court that he had “spectacularly fallen from grace” and was deeply ashamed and embarrassed.

The scam ran for almost three years until it was uncovered by a wwwBorder Agency investigation.

Magumba, a Ugandan national who lived in Rochdale, was suspended by the diocese of Manchester after his arrest last March.

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