A woman who arranged a sham marriage to try to stay in the country has been jailed for 18 months.

Vera Jadoonanan, 39, offered her gay hairdresser £10,000 to become her husband.

But she later threatened him to make sure he backed her applications to the Home Office.

Jadoonanan, from Trinidad and Tobago, came to Britain on a student visa and married the man at Brighton Register Office in August 2006.

He contacted police in 2010 to complain she had been threatening to claim that he had assaulted her if he did not support her visa applications.

The UK Border Agency found they had never lived together.

She was charged with one count of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.

Jadoonanan, of Commercial Road, Eastbourne, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court.

Phil Graysmark, of the UK Border Agency’s Sussex Criminal and Financial Investigation team, said: “This case shows the desperate nature of immigration crime with large sums of money changing hands and people being prepared to enter into a full marriage with someone they barely know simply to cheat the immigration system.

“The UK Border Agency will not tolerate immigration abuse, and we are cracking down on sham marriages all over the country.

"As the sentence handed out today shows, those who seek to cheat immigration laws face heavy penalties.”

A sham marriage scandal erupted in 2009 when vicar Alex Brown, with immigration solicitor Michael Adelasoye and Ukranian Vladymyr Buchak, 33, were found to have set up hundreds of fake marriages in St Leonards.

They were each jailed for four years in 2010.

Anyone who has information about suspicious marriages or other immigration crime can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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