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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

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CPS decides two London clergymen should be charged over sham marriages

15/03/2011

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today authorised the UK Border Agency's London Immigration Crime Team to charge two Church of England clergy with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration.

Andrew Hadik, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said:

"Having considered a full file of evidence in this case, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Reverend Brian Shipsides and Reverend Elwon John for conspiring to facilitate entry and to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK in breach of immigration law. The charges relate to approximately 200 marriages, the majority between EU and non-EU residents, conducted by both clergymen at All Saints Church, Forest Gate, London between December 2007 and the end of July 2010."

Brian Shipsides and Elwon John will appear at Stratford Magistrates' Court on Friday 25 March 2011.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The offence of conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 carries a maximum sentence not exceeding 14 years’ imprisonment.
  2. Facilitating unlawful immigration is an offence contrary to section 25 of the Immigration Act 1971.
  3. The London Immigration Crime Team is a specialist unit of police officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police working alongside warranted UK Border Agency officers to investigate organised immigration crime.
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  5. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  6. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  7. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  8. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media