PSNI sorry after crashing wedding

Police in Derry have apologized after interrupting a wedding in the city’s Guildhall on suspicion it was a “sham marriage.”

Neil McElwee and his pregnant fiancée, Yanan Sun, were wrongly arrested just before their wedding was due to start last Tuesday.

The couple were taken to a police station where they were forced to dress in forensic clothing and separated.

They were held for five hours before police realized their mistake. They were married the next day in nearby Castlederg.

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The police told the couple they were acting on an anonymous tip-off.

Chief Inspector John Burrows said the police had acted in good faith, but sometimes they got things wrong.

However, Mr. McElwee said “sorry” would not make up for the distress caused to him and his wife.

“It just doesn’t add up. Something on that scale based on an anonymous letter and some paperwork faxed through about two hours before the wedding,” he said.

“It just doesn’t happen like that. So there’s a lot of questions that need answering, and there’s a lot of people responsible for this mess-up.

“An apology? It’s just no good; apologies won’t give us our day back. It won’t make everything better.”

McElwee’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.

“You can’t replace a man’s wedding day, you can’t replace a bride walking in on her wedding day to assembled guests. They will never get that moment back, they’ll never get those memories back.”

One of the wedding guests, meanwhile, has been referred for deportation.