Sham marriage - friend unaware defendant from Sheffield had tied the knot

Gul Khatab. Sham marriage trial.
Gul Khatab. Sham marriage trial.
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The family friend of a man accused of taking part in a sham marriage so he could apply to live permanently in the UK told a jury she was unaware he’d got married.

Mrs Hussain told the jury she and Kahtab had been friends for around seven years.

Tracey Coulstock. Sham marriage trial.

Tracey Coulstock. Sham marriage trial.

She said they met through her ex partner, came from the same area of Kashmir, and knew each other’s relatives.

Kahtab, a taxi driver of Scott Road, Pitsmoor, who was living in the UK on a temporary student visa, married a 48-year-old woman called Tracey Coulstock in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, in January 2010.

The prosecution claim he paid her £7,000 to get married and, after the wedding, applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

But after the wedding she lived in Hatfield, while he lived 150 miles away in Sheffield.

Mrs Hussain told prosecutor Christopher Smith she didn’t know anything about Kahtab having a partner.

“How about a wedding?” asked Mr Smith. “Did you ever learn anything about a wedding that he had been involved in?”

“No,” she replied.

Masoud Rasab, aged 38, from Firth Park Road, Firth Park, Sheffield, is accused of orchestrating the recruitment of brides for cash and organising four sham weddings.

He is on trial alongside Sabrina Khan, aged 29, of Wade Close, Broom, Rotherham; Umair Hussain, 28, of Scott Road, Pitsmoor; Alisha Mahmood, 21, of Avon Mount, Masborough, Rotherham; and Tahir Siddique, aged 41, of St Lawrence Glebe, Tinsley.

They all deny conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law.

The trial continues.