A woman and her 'partner' have been jailed for trying to enter into a sham marriage.

Aneta Kaleeva, a 25-year-old Bulgarian of Garner Road, Walthamstow, and Pakistani national Arfat Hussain, 24, from Toting, were arrested moments before their ceremony was due to take place on January 3 last year at the Morden Register Office.

The couple both admitted perjury charges during a trial at Croydon Crown Court on Wednhesday and were sentenced to eight months in prison. 

Hussain had been trying to gain leave to remain in the UK as the spouse of a European Economic Area national.

But the court heard how there was little interaction between the pair, according to register office staff who alerted the Home Office.

Kaleeva had also previously tried to marry a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man whose right to stay in the UK had been shortened the court heard.

That attempted marriage was cancelled at the last minute and the man voluntarily left the UK shortly afterwards.

Hannah Shirley, from the Home Office's immigration enforcement criminal investigations team, said: "We are working closely with registrars to clamp down on sham weddings and civil partnerships. These convictions are examples of the success that we are having.

"Where there are suspicions that a relationship may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening."

The judge ordered two further charges of facilitation, knowingly assisting another in a crime, to remain on file.