EXCLUSIVE: Sham marriage mastermind, 40, who recruited brides for fake weddings so immigrants could stay in the UK WILL be deported to Poland herself after losing lengthy legal battle with three Home Secretaries
A woman who recruited brides to take part in sham marriages so immigrants could remain in the UK will be deported herself – after losing an appeal to Priti Patel and the Home Office.
Justyna Sobieraj, 40, masterminded multiple fake weddings to ensure non-EU nationals could stay after their visas had expired, will be returned to Poland.
It brings to an end a three year legal battle between her and as many different Home Secretaries.
She was jailed in 2017 for seven years after her recruitment for the bogus brides were rumbled in plots in Southampton, Hants, and Winchester.
Sobnieraj, who admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, had first been told she could be deported when Amber Rudd was Home Secretary back in April 2018.
Then under Sajid Javid’s reign she was told in May 2019 she would be sent back to country of birth Poland over her offences and the possibility she could reoffend.
Justyna Sobieraj recruited brides for sham marriages so immigrants could stay in the UK
Home Secretary Priti Patel succeeded in the deportation battle after three years of legal bids
Both former Home Secretaries Savid Javid and Amber Rudd had been involved in the case
By November 2019, by which time Priti Patel had taken over, she had submitted papers for an appeal which was heard last year.
Today it emerged it had been unsuccessful with Upper Tribunal Judge Jackson ruling she did not have the right to stay despite family ties and length of time in the UK.
The judge told her: ‘That must be balanced her criminal offending over a significant period of time between 2009 and 2016 and that she has been in prison since November 2017 which undermines her level of integration here.
‘I find that the respondent has established that there are grounds of public policy and security to justify the appellant’s deportation from the United Kingdom; which is a proportionate decision having taken into account the genuine and present risk she poses to the fundamental interests of society and to her own family; even taking into account her length of residence and family in the United Kingdom, including the best interests of her daughter. I dismiss the appeal.’
Sobieraj’s appeal had heard how she had been attempting to rebuild her life in prison.
She was said to have completed a number of courses behind bars including level 2 beauty, business enterprise level 2 and has started an Open University course in criminology and psychology.
Justyna Sobieraj pictured at Southampton Crown Court during her case back in 2017
She had also claimed she had been accepted for a job for City of London as a social worker, although the hearing had no evidence to back this.
In evidence from her partner, an argument between them was revealed to have happened in November 2016 when she had stabbed him.
He described it as ‘a turning point in the relationship’ and they decided to change and stay together.
Sobieraj was said to have not realised she had stabbed him.
Her criminal case at Southampton Crown Court had seen her sentenced alongside Kamila Grzymala – one of the brides whose marriage ceremonies she organised.
A third defendant Eric Asante, 47 and from London, who helped Sobieraj arrange the string of sham marriages, was sentenced to eight years in his absence when he failed to attend the hearing.
Part of the hearing related to a separate three-week trial, at which Asante and Sobieraj were convicted of assisting unlawful immigration.
Judge Gary Burrell QC said Sobieraj had been ‘seduced’ by the prospect of financial gain.
Turning to Grzymala, he added: ‘You have been extremely stupid.’
Speaking after the case, immigration officer Nick Jupp said: ‘These marriages were a way for Sobieraj and the ‘brides’ to line their own pockets.’
The Home Office has repeatedly pledged to remove serious foreign offenders from the country.
A spokesman has said: ‘Our priority is to keep the British public safe and we are doing everything possible to reduce legal challenges and increase the numbers of foreign national offenders and those with no right to remain in the UK being removed.’