Zimbabwean woman jailed for using forged passports

Leeds – AN asylum seeker who used a false passport to get a job at the Royal Armouries in Leeds has been jailed for eight months.

Zimbabwean Lucia Honye fled her homeland after opposing Robert Mugabe’s regime but was not entitled to work in the UK because of her situation.

She was granted benefit support in May 2006, receiving food vouchers and free accommodation, but the post at the museum was just one she obtained over a two-year period using three different forged passports, Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday.

The 36-year-old, of Tempest Road, Beeston, Leeds, admitted fraud and possessing false passports.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told her he was driven to impose a sentence of custody because of the seriousness of the offences but said he did so "with a heavy heart".

Philip Adams, prosecuting, said in 2007 Honye used one of the passports which contained her photo and a counterfeit resident’s permit to obtain work with a recruitment agency and went on to earn £5,369 as a part-time domestic.

She then used a different passport with another agency earning over £2,000 the same year. It was that passport she used when she successfully applied to work at the Royal Armouries where she earned £13,702 gross between July 2007 and October 2008.

Warner Falk, representing Honye, told the court she was desperate to send money back to Zimbabwe to support and educate the three children she had to leave behind.

Mr Falk said both Honye and her husband supported the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe. After her husband died she continued to do so but her business and home were ruined. (Yorkshire Evening Post)