A Czech mother-of-two who took part in a sham marriage for cash and to get a job has been locked up for a year.
Ex-seamstress Bozena Dunova, 41, wed Nigerian national Anthony Anyanwu, 31, at St Andrew's Church in Accrington in 2009 and he later applied to stay in the UK. She went on to be arrested at the Calais end of the Channel Tunnel.
Dunova, who came to this country in 2007 with her children to join her partner, their father, wanted the youngsters to have a better education.
She was living with him at the time, he was working and earning £1,700 a month and the couple were not said to be hard-up. Both she and her partner were said to have been paid by Anyanwu for the marriage.
The defendant became the latest in a long line of sham marriage criminals to be jailed at Burnley Crown Court. Dunova, of Hope Street, Tipton, Birmingham, had earlier admitted assisting unlawful immigration to a member state.
Anyanwu, of Albert Avenue, Manchester, was also earlier jailed for 12 months for his part in the scam.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Anyanwu put forward to a vicar the defendant's Czech passport, his own- which turned out to be fake - and a British Gas bill showing an address at Emma Street, Accrington.
Anyanwu and Dunova were married on April 2, 2009 and the register was signed, stating they were both single and lived at Emma Street. Neither the "bride" nor "groom" were seen by the vicar again.
Mr Parker said Anyanwu later applied for residency in the UK. He was arrested in June last year and when his mobile phone was seized, there was a message to it reading: "Thank you. Here is my account number and sort code. Bozena."
The defendant was arrested on March 24 this year in Calais where she was with her two teenage children. When she was first interviewed, she claimed she and Anyanwu were a love match.
The prosecutor said when she was questioned again, Dunova conceded that was not the case and said she had lied because she was frightened she would be put behind bars and not see her children. She claimed no money had changed hands. The defendant had no previous convictions.
David Bentley, for Dunova, said until May this year, European nationals had to register with the Workers Registration Scheme to get a job in this country. One had to work for 12 months to get a residency card and although that was not required by law to obtain employment, a number of Jobcentres asked for it in employment and benefits issues.
She had been working sporadically but not for 12 months and the sham marriage came hand in hand with the promise of employment as the person who arranged it certainly appeared to have a premises where other people were working.
Mr Bentley said: "She frankly became involved in something that was completely out of her depth. She was involved clearly with far more sophisticated offenders and individuals. Of course, she had to play her part and she did that."
The barrister added the proceedings had had a salutary effect on the defendant. He continued: "This clearly has deeply upset her, not because of the impact it will have upon her, but because of the impact it will have primarily on her two children."
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Dunova her partner had been working, they had not been overwhelmed by debt or desperation and she had repaid the hospitality of this country by committing this crime. She didn't need to marry a complete stranger and wasn't even bothered whether he was entitled to be in the UK or not.
The judge continued: " The courts have made it perfectly clear that anyone who commits such crime must expect the penalty to be severe, both to punish you and deter others, because these offences undermine our immigration laws, the immigration laws of this country which are there to protect legitimate citizens."