FOUR defendants accused of attempting to clinch a sham marriage at Winchester Register Office in February have appeared at the city’s crown court for the first time.

Speaking with the assistance of an interpreter, French bride-to-be Olivia Godefroy, from London, pleaded guilty to arranging and participating in sham marriages and bigamy.

Prosecuting counsel Mark Ruffell said the 21-year-old already had a husband when she wed Diedonna Ateh in January, before attempting to go through with the Winchester ceremony a month later.

She was given conditional bail, while pre-sentence reports are prepared.

Cameroonian potential groom Devine Abanda, 26, also from London, Armand Djedje, 29, originally from the Ivory Coast, and Belgian Olivier Attie, 30, have all yet to enter their pleas.

A final pre-trial hearing is due to be held at Winchester Crown Court on May 30.