Londonderry police interrupted a wedding on the mistaken suspicion that the ceremony was simply a ploy to assist the Chinese bride’s immigration. The couple’s lawyer believes that police may have mounted the raid in the hope of finding illegal immigrants among the guests.
The police wrongly arrested Neil McIlwee and his pregnant fiancee, Yanan Sun, moments before the ceremony at the Guildhall in Londonderry on Tuesday.
Chief Inspector John Burrows said the police had acted in good faith, but sometimes they got things wrong ….
The couple were taken to a police station, forced to dress in forensic clothing and separated.
They were held for five hours and only released when their solicitor got involved. They were married the next day in nearby Castlederg ….
Mr McIlwee’s solicitor Karina Breslin Carlin said: “I do have concerns that the Borders Agency have taken the view here, that if it’s alleged this is a sham marriage, it’s a great opportunity to go into this wedding ceremony and see how many Chinese nationals are there who may not have the correct paperwork in order ….”
One wedding guest has been referred for deportation.