herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Woman accused of trying to enter 'sham marriage'

Rita Skvarcinskaite (41) was arrested at Dublin Airport
Rita Skvarcinskaite (41) was arrested at Dublin Airport

A LITHUANIAN woman has been accused of trying to enter a "sham" marriage with a man in Ireland in one of the first cases of its kind to come before the courts.

Rita Skvarcinskaite (41) allegedly attempted to register a "marriage of convenience," and had a flight out of the country booked for six hours after the ceremony was due to take place.

She was arrested at Dublin Airport as she was about to leave.

Judge Patrick Clyne deferred a decision on approving a bail surety and remanded her in custody at Dublin District Court.

Ms Skvarcinskaite is charged with providing false information - an address and counterfeit bank statement - to the registrar at the Civil Registration Office, Gate Lodge, Lisdarn, Cavan on May 21.

She is also charged with having a false TSB joint bank account statement at the office on May 21, and a false document at TSB Patrick Street, Cork on another date.

The court heard the DPP was consenting to two of the charges being heard in the district court on a guilty plea only.

Defence solicitor Tracy Horan applied for bail.

Suitability

The defendant's brother-in-law was put forward as a €1,000 independent surety, but Detective Garda Brendan O Somachain of the Garda National Immigration Bureau questioned his suitability.

"The alleged offences relate to a marriage of convenience," Det Gda O'Somachain said.

He alleged the accused, of no fixed address, flew into Ireland three times - in March and May to serve notice of her intention to marry and on August 26 to get married.

"The prospective groom in this case is conspicuous by his absence," the garda said.

"You didn't think he was going to turn up here today," Judge Patrick Clyne said. "And I doubt he's waiting at the altar."

Judge Clyne said he would approve a barrister being certified under legal aid.

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