Iraqi illegal immigrant with fake ID at large for six years
An Iraqi immigrant was at large for six years after trying to open a bank account using fake identity documents, a court
Shakhawan Ahmed fled to Norfolk in 2009 having been caught out at a TSB branch in the Bridge Street area of Walsall
He feared that he would be repatriated to his war-torn home nation and was trying to open the bank account so he could obtain work and stay living in the UK.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge told Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday that Ahmed was caught on June 22, 2009.
He said: "He handed over a UK driving licence in the name of Ali Hamed Karim but with his photograph on the card.
"He also handed over what appeared to be an official residents permit, bearing the same details.
"The bank worker considered the documents but didn't feel they were legitimate.
"He checked them using an ultra violet system. There should have been a watermark on the drivers licence but there wasn't and the paper for the permit was on gloss rather than matte paper.
"Police were called and both documents were officially checked, and there was no record of Ali Hamed Karim."
When he was interviewed, Ahmed told police that he had bought the documents from someone for £300 and picked them up at Birmingham New Street station.
He appeared before the magistrates court in 2009 and a date was set for it to be heard at crown court but he didn't attend. He remained at large until November this year.
He submitted a guilty plea and accepted his failure to appear.
Ahmed admitted to making false representations by producing a fake driving licence and residents permit and breaching bail.
Defence barrister Oliver Woolhouse, told judge Kristina Montgomery QC: "He has been here for 15 years. He had a work permit in 2004 but lost it two years later.
"He has had to work in car washes to try and scrape money together.
"He is from a war-torn country, and was worried that he would be repatriated after his case went to court.
"He found himself in a very difficult position, and took to extreme measures.
"What he did was unlawful and wrong, but he has remained in the same position for nine years.
"He is a man of intelligence, but finds himself in a difficult situation."
Judge Montgomery QC told Ahmed, aged 42, of Kingsley Street, Walsall: "I don't think you are suitable for a suspended sentence because you are used to living life under the radar.
"I would question your ability to put regular appointments over your own personal needs."
She sentenced him to eight months in prison.
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