Two Pakistani students were so desperate to stay in the United Kingdom that they married mentally handicapped women to gain British citizenship, the High Court in London has heard.
The first man, who is in his 20’s, had arrived in the UK in 2009 to study but was taken into custody by immigration authorities after he submitted fake documents to renew his student visa.
Judges were told that he then began a relationship with a woman in her late teens and married her in June 2012, despite concerns by local authorities who feared that the woman didn’t have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or sex.
He was later deported to Pakistan after an immigration tribunal ruled the marriage a sham.
The second man, who is in his 30s, married a woman, also in her 30s in a Muslim ceremony in late 2011 about six weeks after his application to stay in the UK was refused by immigration authorities.
An anonymous informant had called to tell officials that the woman’s stepfather had received £20,000 ‘in consideration’ of that marriage.
The woman became pregnant ‘almost immediately’ and gave birth to a son in the summer of 2012.
The man is now demanding to stay in the UK, basing his claim on his right to family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
The first man is said to have claimed asylum in the UK soon after his marriage because “he feared he would be killed by his family who disapproved of his marriage to a white British woman”.
The application was refused and he was deported in August 2012.
In the second case, a local authority had asked Mrs Justice Parker to make decisions about whether the woman in her 30s had the capacity to consent to marriage and sexual relationships.
‘A Muslim marriage, not recognised in this jurisdiction, was performed between them,’ said Mrs Justice Parker.
‘An anonymous informant had telephoned to state that the (woman’s stepfather) had received £20,000 in consideration of the marriage.’
She said six weeks earlier the man’s application to stay in the UK following the expiry of a two-year student visa had been refused.
He had subsequently applied for ‘leave to remain on the grounds of his marriage’ and an immigration tribunal is set to rule on the application.
The judge concluded that the woman lacked the capacity to consent to sexual relations and lacked ‘sufficient understanding’ to consent to marriage.
Mrs Justice Parker said the man was basing a claim to remain in the UK on his right to family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
‘The reality is that he is now relying on his married and fatherhood … in support of his claim to remain,’ said the judge. ‘So, the reality is that whatever his original motivation, (the woman) is being used.’
The hearing continues.