Also sentenced for his part in the marriages scam was 67 year-old lawyer Robert Pickles.

Pickles, of Copster Green in the Ribble Valley, was told by a judge that he had brought shame on himself and on his profession.

He was one of three people sentenced last week at Preston Crown Court for their part in the fake marriage ring which stretched from Blackburn to Bombay.

Pickles pleaded guilty to two charges of assisting in the fake marriages.

He had provided the man described as the ringleader of the scam -- Blackburn man Ismail Pirbhai -- with false documents.

One one occasion, he acted as witness to a passport application.

He had been told by Pirbhai that the application was genuine, a move which was described as 'very foolish' by both defence and prosecution lawyers.

He had also given Pirbhai immigration sponsorship forms which had already been embossed with the stamp of legal firm Parker and Pickles.

Judge David Boulton told Pickles: "I am very sorry to see you in the dock today.

"You are obviously a much-liked and much-respected solicitor in Blackburn.

"But you allowed your respectable face to be used by Pirbhai, who I will sentence at a later date, for a thoroughly dishonest racket.

"You have brought shame on yourself and your good character and also your profession."

A spokesman for the Law Society said, "The fact he has now been sentenced for something else will simply give us a third reason to be struck off.

"We have requested a hearing at the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal where we will act as prosecutors asking for him to be struck off.

"We believe we have strong case regardless of the fact he is now in custody for something different.

"His actions which have resulted in him being sent to prison are a disgrace to the profession and most solicitors will not hesitate to condemn him for them."

Pickles was one of three people to be jailed for involvement in the international marriage racket yesterday.

Jacqueline Grahams, 25, of Penwortham, who had pleaded guilty to being a bride in five marriages, four of which took place in register offices across Lancashire.

The court was told she had become involved in the scam after moving to Blackburn and becoming friends with Patel.

She was given six concurrent 18-month sentences.

And Salma Chowdhury, 26, Wimberley Street, Blackburn, was given a 12 month suspended sentence for attempting to set up one sham marriage.