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Friday 13 December 2019

Wedding crashers . . . police's blunder ruins couple' s big day

Michael McHugh

POLICE in the North were left red-faced after they ruined a wedding in the mistaken belief it was a sham.

Neil McElwee (24) and his Chinese bride Yanan Sun (19) -- who is expecting -- were seething after being taken away for questioning as they were about to complete their marriage ceremony in front of 40 guests in Derry.

The PSNI yesterday apologised for the raid, which Mr McElwee said was based upon an anonymous letter sent to the Guildhall in the city.

The chef from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, said: "It was absolutely disgraceful. My wife is five-and-a-half months pregnant and they just treated her in a disgusting fashion."

The couple were among five people arrested at the ceremony. Police released four of them, including the bride and groom, after several hours but one woman was detained over her immigration status.

The Guildhall ceremony was about to start on Tuesday in front of friends and family when Mr McElwee and Ms Sun were told there was a problem.

They were ushered into a room where eight plainclothes policemen were waiting.

"One guest said it felt like a wake. It was a nightmare," he said.

"It is just a disgrace and a shambles, the police know it was a shambles themselves. We did not get to our reception until 8.30pm at night.

"I won't be happy until I get a proper explanation."

The couple intends to lodge complaints with Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson, the UK Border Agency and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Irish Independent

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