A FATHER has been jailed for pocketing thousands of pounds to arrange two sham marriages.

Register office staff became suspicious with the behaviour of Krisztian Kokeny, aged 35, and his “bride” Rabia Ahmad when they tried to get married on February 14 last year.

Denise Fitzpatrick said only five people attended.

The ceremony was to enable Ahmad, a Pakistani national, to secure status in the UK.

Bolton Crown Court heard police spoke to Kokeny, of Southfield Street, Burnden, about an unrelated matter the day before he got married and that he was living with his partner and their two children.

Ms Fitzpatrick said on June 27 last year Kokeny attended Blackburn with Darwen Register Office again but this time with Erzebet Habling who was about to marry Shafiq Ahmad.

After staff made enquiries they discovered Habling had presented identification that had been stolen in February, 2012.

Officers went to the ceremony and found a rucksack in Kokeny’s car containing a memoir document with information about how Mr Ahmad and Ms Habling met.

He received £4,500 for his involvement in one of the marriages.

Nick Ross, defending father-of-two Kokeny, said he did not appreciate the gravity of the crimes.Judge Timothy Clayson said: “These are serious organised criminal offences involving careful planning carried out over a period of time.

“Authorities have been misled and vulnerable individuals have gone through these ceremonies.

“People involved in these offences must expect length prison sentences.”

Kokeny admitted assisting unlawful immigration, conspiring to assist unlawful immigration and failing to surrender to custody on April 24.

He was jailed for two years and 10 months.