London: An Indian citizen who entered the UK illegally and used fake British and Spanish passports as proof of identity in Stratford-upon-Avon, has been jailed for one year and faces deportation at the end of the sentence.

Hailing from Punjab, Sakkadar Singh, 31, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment at the Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to using a false UK passport with intent to deceive in May 2006 and possessing a false Spanish passport with improper intention in January last year.

Recounting Singh's catalogue of misdeeds, prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe told the court that in May 2006, Singh, who it was later found had entered the country illegally in 2002, submitted an application for a provisional driving licence, reports from Warwick said.

Making the application at a post office, he used a UK passport as proof of identity, and after it was approved he was issued with a license four days later.

Singh has since renewed it four times, the 'Stratford-upon-Avon Herald' reported.

But because of suspicions about him early this year, a retrospective check was carried out on the passport number after a new system was installed, and it revealed that it had not been issued to Singh.

The police went to Singh's address but were told he had returned to India.

Investigators carried out further checks which led them to an estate agent, through which Singh was renting his home through a lease for which he had produced a Spanish passport as proof of identity.

Amarasinghe said the estate agent had a photocopy of the passport, which was later proved to be false.

The police then tracked Singh down to the car wash where he was working, and he was arrested.

When he was questioned Singh admitted that he had entered the country illegally in the back of a lorry and that both passports had been provided by intermediaries.

Maninder Chaggar, defending lawyer, said: "He thought he could make a better life for himself in the United Kingdom.

He accepts he has gone the wrong way about it. He had been struggling in India, where there were no prospects for him. Unemployment was high, particularly in the Punjab region where he comes from."

Chaggar said Singh was now a completely broken man and was facing deportation despite being in a stable relationship with a woman who is a UK citizen.

Jailing Singh, Judge Alan Parker told him: "There is a high public interest in the maintenance of the integrity of the passport system. It is far too important to be diluted by my dealing with this case in any manner which is inconsistent with the decided sentencing cases."

(Agencies)

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