TWO Newport men helped organised a sham marriage so that a Nigerian woman could stay in the country, a jury was told yesterday.

Roman Horvarth, 36, of Broadmead Park, and Samuel Akudike, 41, of Commercial Road, denied the charge of assisting unlawful immigration levelled against both of them on the first day of their trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Jeremy Jenkins, prosecuting, said the fact the marriage, between Roman Horvath's brother Robert Horvarth and Uzoma Cynthia Onwuha, was a sham was not disputed.

The question the jury must decide is whether the two defendants, who worked with Robert Horvath at Avana Bakeries in Rogerstone, helped organise the scam.

Horvath and Onwuha got married at a register office in Newport, the court heard.

The Horvath brothers are EU citizens, originally from the Czech Republic, but Onwuha was not an EU citizen, the court heard.

Robert Horvath accepted £1,000 for the sham marriage to Onwuha, the court was told.

The jury heard that he admitted the sham marriage while Onwuha admitted obtaining leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception.

She got married to obtain the "necessary paperwork for her to remain legally in the UK", Mr Jenkins said.

Originally she had come to the UK on a student visa but this was about to run out.

The court heard Roman Horvath and Akudike both attended the wedding, which had only six guests, but were unable to answer police questions such as where the other guests were from.

"They both knew, and it was obvious that they knew, that it was a sham marriage", Mr Jenkins said.

Akudike claimed he had been invited to the wedding after a random meeting with the bride and groom at a Newport bus stop, the court heard.

"On the wedding night Cynthia Onwuha left Newport, took a bus and went back the way she has come from - to London. If ever there was the final nail in the coffin of a sham marriage, that was it," Mr Jenkins added.

At Akudike's house police found slips of paper with Robert Horvath's name on it and Onwuha's address in London.

The defence are expected to lay out their case tomorrow.