South Shields asylum seeker used a fake identity to get a job as a care worker

An asylum seeker who used a fake identity to get a job as a care worker has kept his freedom.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 2:31 pm

Namibian national Turipamue Katjinamuhene was living off asylum support allowance of £39 per week when he used a false Portugese passport in the name of Romeo Kovo to apply for work.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 25-year-old, who had no right to work in the UK due to his asylum status, was offered a contract with Classic Resources, who supply care services to people in their homes, in January 2020.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told the court over the next few weeks Katjinamuhene worked shifts for the company and was paid £270 in return.

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Namibian national Turipamue Katjinamuhene was living off asylum support allowance of £39 per week when he used a false Portugese passport in the name of Romeo Kovo to apply for work, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

The court heard a council audit of agency staff revealed the passport he had used was fake and the police were informed.

Katjinamuhene, of Eglesfield Road, South Shields, admitted possessing an identity document with improper intent and fraud.

Mr Recorder Darren Preston sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a three month curfew from 9pm to 6am.

The judge said he accepted Katjinamuhene had not acted out of "greed" and told him: "I appreciate it must have been immensely frustrating to be not able to work and immensely difficult to live on the meagre benefits you wereallowed.

"Whatever one might think about it, that is the law and you knew it."

The court heard Katjinamuhene had fled Namibia traumatised by the fear of persecution and oppression and was granted asylum in the UK in June 2019.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Katjinamuhene has been assessed as a low risk of harm and a low risk of re-offending.

Miss Coxon said Katjinamuhene, who has no criminal record, was "desperate, financially" and is now remorseful for what he did.

Miss Coxon said the work Katjinamuhene carried out is "valuable and respected", particularly during the pandemic.

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