AN ILLEGAL immigrant who bought a BMW using forged paperwork and then sold it on eBay has been let off a jail sentence – so that he can look after his wife and child.
Ashraqul Haque, who is originally from Bangladesh and had been refused permission to stay in the UK, bought the car from Walker Car Sales in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, on a hire-purchase agreement.
The 29-year-old used his cousin’s identity to get the £10,000 vehicle and then, without having paid the money off, sold it on the internet auction site to Martin Appell, from the Isle of Wight, for £5,800.
After he was arrested Haque married Bina Begum, a British citizen, and got her pregnant.
It was these family responsibilities that saved him from going to jail.
Recorder Ian Lawrie said: ‘He is saved on this occasion because I do take into account the significance of the circumstances of his wife.
‘I don’t see why she should be put through the inconvenience and stress of having to manage without the apparently supportive defendant.’
Haque, of Turner Road, Buckland, pleaded guilty to theft, fraud, possession of false identity documents with intent and seeking to remain in the UK by deception at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Recorder Lawrie handed him a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
Haque was also ordered to do 280 hours of unpaid work in the community.
‘I want every hour he does to be a reminder that he has been very lucky,’ said Recorder Lawrie.
‘He is the very opposite of the view that we all have of the hard-working and law-abiding Bangladeshi community. You’re a thorough disgrace to your community. You should be ashamed of yourself.’
Hannah Duncan, defending, said: ‘It was an utterly stupid act, there’s no doubt about it. He sold the car, sticking his head in the sand with regards to the finance arrangements and he used the money to clear his credit card debt.’
Despite having lost his first bid to stay in the UK Haque is now awaiting the outcome of a second application on Human Rights grounds.