Blackburn sham marriage man 'was besotted'

First published in by , Court reporter

A MAN accused of taking part in a sham marriage has told a jury he had become ‘besotted’ with a Vietnamese woman and thought their relationship was genuine.

Jason Procter had not thought that he was being tricked, conned, or duped, into a wedding, at Blackburn Register Office, in May 2010.

The couple spent their wedding night at his Princess Street flat, in the town, and saw each other most weekends, because his wife, Le Thi Le Quyen, was studying in Preston, and also had a part-time job, Preston Crown Court head.

The 40-year-old denies a charge of assisting unlawful immigration to a member state.

He said he met his bride at a birthday party in Preston, back in August 2009.

“I fell for her,” he said.

“I was 38 or 39. She would have been 20, or 21.”

He later added: “I was besotted with her.

“Whatever she wanted to do, I agreed to.”

In response to a question from his barrister Mark Stuart, he now accepted that he had the wool pulled over his eyes.

But he said at the time of his arrest, he had still honestly thought every-thing was all right.

Procter also told the jury, in evidence, that before their marriage he had been ‘clueless’ about what forms would need to be filled in.

Le Quyen had told him what they would have to do, and he had given her his passport, birth certificate, a bank statement, and a TV licence.

Mr Stuart also asked him, “Were you paid to marry that woman?” The defendant replied “definitely not”.

The trial continues .

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