Thornton Heath vicar Reverend Nathan Ntegeto stand trial in November for 500 alleged sham marriages
A vicar accused of conducting nearly 500 sham marriages at a Thornton Heath church will stand trial in November.
Reverend Nathan Ntege is charged with 14 immigration offences in relation to 492 marriages held at St Jude's and St Aidan's Church in Thornton Heath.
The 53-year-old appeared at Inner London Crown Court this morning, with his 79-year-old verger Brian Miller of Owl Close, Selsdon, who faces the same charges, in relation to marriages conducted between December 2009 and March 2011.
The pair appeared in court for the first time with the alleged "fixer" of the sham marriages.
Gilena Petkova, 50, is accused of helping to arrange some of the fake ceremonies and was allegedly married in one of the sham ceremonies herself.
All three will enter pleas to the charges at a hearing on May 3, at Inner London Crown Court.
A trial date has been set for November, 4, and is scheduled to last three to four weeks.
The charges follow an investigation by the UK Border Agency's Criminal and Financial Investigation Unit, after receiving a tip off about the high number of marriages taking place at the church.