Illegal immigrant who had fake ID is spared jail
8:20am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Latest News
AN ILLEGAL immigrant who was caught with two forged passports has been jailed for nine months.
But Yusuf Malik has already been freed after serving just 16 days behind bars on remand – because he had been on a curfew for 10 months.
And the sentence is not long enough for the 30-year-old to be considered for automatic deportation which takes place following a sentence of one year or longer.
Malik, who says he came to Swindon in December 2006 on a six-month visitor’s visa though the authorities claim they can find no trace of him arriving, was arrested in February last year by police investigating other matters.
When they went to his Pinehurst home he told them he “shouldn’t be here” and showed a French passport, which he admitted was bogus, and a Nigerian one he said was genuine.
Malik insisted he had got it in his homeland through an agent in good faith and pleaded not guilty to knowing it was fake, but a jury didn’t believe him.
He said it was an old one his brother had sent him after he destroyed the paperwork he used to enter the country because it contained the out of date visa.
The fake EU passport had been bought through a friend for £1,000 and used so he could secure employment, he admitted.
During his six years in this country he said he had never claimed benefit, getting work in care homes.
Malik, of Poplar Avenue, Pinehurst, pleaded not guilty to one count of possessing a false identity document and guilty to the other.
Paul Trotman, defending, said his client was living with his partner of three years who was pregnant with his child.
He said she already had three children aged, 11, four and two with three different fathers and his client provided stability to her and their lives.
During the two weeks and four days he had been on remand awaiting sentence there had been a noticeable change in the behaviour of the middle child, he said.
Mr Trotman handed up letters from his partner, her parents, neighbours and a teacher all talking of Malik’s good character.
Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose said the offence was so serious that it almost always carried a sentence of immediate imprisonment.
“That is because identity document offence undermine some of the important controls that we have within our society and the courts treat them accordingly in a very serious way,” he said.
“For this type of offence it is almost always the case that an immediate custodial sentence will follow.”
But he read from one of the letters which described Malik as “decent to the core and of good moral character”.
The judge said: “You are a man who is a very admirable individual, the letter I have read made that abundantly clear.
“You have worked hard whilst you have been in this country, you have not claimed any benefits.
“You have supported yourself and your partner and her children and you have sent money home to your family in Nigeria.”
Imposing the sentence he said: “It will not take a particularly skillful mathematician to work out the effect of your remand time and time on curfew to work out that you have effectively already served the sentence I have passed.”
Under Section 240A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 being on a tagged curfew of nine hours or more on remand counts as a half a day in prison.