Illegal immigrant used fake papers to work at Hayling chip shop

Ravinder Singh outside court
Ravinder Singh outside court
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A MAN arrested by immigration officers at a fish and chip shop has been spared jail.

Ravinder Singh was detained in a raid on Seaview Fish and Chips in Seafront, Hayling Island in January.

The 38-year-old was found to have a photocopied Indian passport and a residence permit.

But Portsmouth Crown Court heard neither of the documents were real and Singh was charged and brought to court.

Singh is currently appealing an earlier decision by the Home Office refusing him leave to remain after marrying a UK citizen in 2015 following a two-year relationship.

The court heard he bought the documents for £200.

Martyn Booth, prosecuting, said: ‘It would seem the reason he was using the two forged, or fake, documents was to gain employment at that establishment.

‘The owner of the fish and chip shop was initially questioned by the officers.

‘She was very full and frank with them. She had used those documents as proof of this defendant’s identity before giving him part-time work.’

Singh, now of Oak Road, Bursledon, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing or controlling an identity document that was false and that he knew or believed was false, with the intention of using the document to establish personal information.

In court his defence said he bought the documents to try to get work so he could support his wife, who has an illness meaning she cannot work.

Sentencing, Judge Linda Sullivan QC said Singh had been in this country since 2004.

The judge added that since Singh’s wife’s children have grown up, he is now her main carer.

She added she could suspend the sentence, ‘bearing in mind your character to date and pleas at the first opportunity and the fact you are the main carer for your wife’.

He received a six-month term suspended for two years on each count to run concurrent. He must complete 100 hours’ unpaid work.

At the time of the arrest, Carla Johnson, of the South Central Immigration Enforcement team, said: ‘Our efforts to tackle illegal working will not stop. Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime.

‘It defrauds the Treasury, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.’

A 29-year-old man, also from India, was found to have overstayed his visa and was arrested pending his removal from the UK.