Ipswich: Judge brands sham marriages an offence which ‘strikes at the heart’ of the immigration system as two Ipswich women face jail for the crime

Pair guilty of sham marriages

Pair guilty of sham marriages

A judge has branded sham marriages an offence which “strikes at the heart” of the immigration system in this country.

His comments came as he warned two Ipswich women they will face prison when he passes sentence on their cases next week.

Justyna Ignaczynska, 27 and Tatjana Stepanova-Tatanshvili, 34, both of Norwich Road, Ipswich both pleaded guilty to facilitating the commission of a breach of UK immigration law by deception in separate cases at Ipswich Crown Court, yesterday.

The court heard that Ignaczynska had been offered £1,500 to help a man stay in the UK.

Despite the offer she never recieved the money.

Defending his client in court, Michael Warren, acting for Ignaczynska, said: “She accepts she wasn’t in a relationship with this gentleman.”

Adjourning both cases for sentence Judge David Goodin told the women:”Any offence of this nature strikes at the heart of our system of immigration control to the detriment of legitimate immigrants and asylum seekers.

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“Because it is such a serious offence all sentencing options including custody will remain open to the court.

The pair first appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on August 7 where the court was told Ignaczynska married Amer Mohammed Abd el Rasoul in Peterborough between January 1, 2010 and December 31 of the same year.

Stepanova-Tatanashvili, who lived just doors away from Ignaczynska in Norwich Road, was said to have married Walid Ahmed Elemezin in Ipswich at some point between January 1, 2010 and May 21 this year.

The men were not citizens of the European Union and through the marriages were able to stay in the country though deception, thus breaching the Immigration Act 1971.

Ignaczynska’s case was adjourned until next Thursday while the case of Stepanova-Tatanshvili was adjourned until September 4.