Citation –  EWCA Crim 1561
Date – 26th August 2015
Keywords – Sentence, False ID documents, in country
Overview – Sentence of 16 months on a guilty plea for false ID docs
Summary – B was a Romanian national, in the UK lawfully. Having opened a bank account in a false name, he tried again (with a different false identity) a month later, where he was caught with a false Spanish ID card. Seemingly charged with one offence of possession of a false ID document (the Spanish ID card) and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, full credit from a starting point of 2 years.
D was sentenced on the basis that he was “employed by an organised crime group to carry out these acts for them so that they could further their fraudulent and criminal aims“.
It was held that on the Ovieriakhi spectrum, this offending was at the more serious end and had the potential to undermine the banking system.
Comment – It is interesting that although B was lawfully entitled to be in the UK, this is treated as more serious than the Ovieriakhi cases where a spectrum of 6-12 months is the norm. The fact that the offence was committed not to assist someone in remaining in the country, but for gain, is treated as being an aggravating feature.
Although that would appear to be correct, the sentence here is double what would be expected in other cases. Given that it was accepted that B had no involvement other than in opening the bank accounts, this seems more than just a severe sentence.
Judges – Beatson LJ, King & Males JJ