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Manchester vicar jailed for immigration fraud: The Church of England Newspaper, February 3, 2012, p 7. February 10, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Crime, Immigration, Marriage.
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Canon Patrick Magumba

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

A Manchester vicar has been sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment for immigration fraud.

On 26 January 2012 the Bolton Crown Court sentenced the Rev Canon Patrick Magumba following a guilty plea entered last December on one count of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of UK immigration law and to two counts of theft.

Canon Magumba, a Ugandan immigrant and the former Team Vicar for the South Rochdale Team Ministry of St Peter’s, Newbold, St Luke’s Deeplish, and St Mary’s, Balderstone, was found to have conducted 21 fraudulent marriages at St Peter’s and 10 at St Luke’s between April 2008 and February 2011.

On 13 March 2011, the Archdeacon of Rochdale told the congregation of St Peter’s Church that Canon Magumba had been arrested and the rectory and church searched by officers of the UK Border Agency in connection with an investigation of sham marriages in the North West.

The police investigation found the vicar had also pocketed wedding and funeral fees, diverting £5,400 from St Peter’s and £2,908 from St Luke’s.

Magumba showed no emotion as sentence was passed at Bolton crown court on Thursday after he admitted carrying out 28 sham weddings.

As he handed down his sentence, Judge William Morris told Canon Magumba “whatever your motive for facilitating the fraudulent entry into this country of these individuals, neither you or anyone else in your place can place your conscience above the laws of this country. Your offences have brought scandal to the church and let down your family and parishioners.”

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