Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Illegal Immigrant Worker Spared Jail

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Illegal Immigrant Worker Spared Jail

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

ACHARITY worker who was found to have been in the country illegally for more than six years has been spared prison.

Churchgoing Oluwakemi Ahmed excelled as a support worker for Mencap and earned more than PS112,000, paying her taxes and national insurance as she did so.

But when immigration enforcement officers visited her husband at their home in Gateshead, they found a forged Dutch ID card with Ahmed's picture and a fake name on it, along with wage slips in the same name.

The 37-year-old mum of two admitted possessing a false identity document and fraud but has been allowed to keep her freedom after a judge said he "sympathised and empathised with her predicament".

It was in January this year that immigration officers went to the family home on Rawling Road, Gateshead, looking for Mr Ahmed - but uncovered the evidence about his wife.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court: "That alerted them to the fact she was working illegally and was using a false identity document.

"She had been working in paid employment with Mencap and had worked there since may 2012 and had used the Dutch ID card, which was later found to be a false ID card, as proof of her identity and proof of her ability and entitlement to take paid employment."

Once Mencap became aware of the true position, she was suspended.

Her line manager provided information that she had been paid PS112,545 during her six and a half years there.

In April, Ahmed, who also used the fake ID to secure the lease at her home, was served with immigration papers telling her she is liable to deportation, but the family is still hoping to stay.

Sue Hirst, defending, said Ahmed's husband came to England from Nigeria in 2004 as a student and he then applied for leave to remain. …

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