Viet bride says she does, then doesn't

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 April, 1996, 12:00am

A Vietnamese bride left her 65-year-old husband alone and bewildered at the altar yesterday when she bolted out the back door just minutes after their wedding ceremony.

In the second such incident in as many months, Ngo Thi Nam, 39, travelled from the High Island camp to the San Po Kong marriage registry with two other brides-to-be, but disappeared just after completing the formalities.

The Correctional Services Department said two officers had been assigned to escort the women but Nam escaped in the confusion of about 30 people milling around celebrating the union.

Under normal procedures she would have had to return to detention to await processing by the Immigration Department. If she is recaptured, her marriage to the local man will probably be declared null and void.

Nam escaped from the Whitehead camp in 1994, but gave herself up in September last year. She applied to be married in December.

It is understood that she has a seven-year-old son, born in Hong Kong, who was last night being cared for by other inmates at the High Island camp.

Last month, Pham Thi Tu left her fiance's dreams of wedded bliss shattered when she ran out the door of Sha Tin City Hall before formalities could be completed. The pair were both detainees at Whitehead. Pham has not been recaptured.

An investigation has been launched into yesterday's incident.