Two asylum seekers who have lived in Northampton for 13 years jailed for possessing fake passports

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001
Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

Two asylum seekers who have been living and working in Northampton for the past 13 years have been jailed for six months after they admitted possessing fake passports.

Gordon Mugabi and Costacia Mukankusi, of Cowper Street, Northampton, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after they were charged with fraud and possessing a false ID.

The court heard immigration officials raided their address on June 11 last year and find the false French and Belgian passports.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said the pair fully co-operated with the immigration officials and said they had paid £300 for the fake passports so they could gain employment and access NHS services.

Mr Lowe said Mukankusi, aged 45, was an asylum seeker from Rwanda who was HIV positive.

He said: “Due to the fact she was an asylum seekers she was prohibited from working or claiming benefits or receiving NHS treatment.

“She obtained the document to obtain NHS treatment for her HIV.”

Mr Lowe said Mugabi, aged 50, was an asylum seeker from Uganda who had obtained a false passport so he could get a job at a branch of Wickes in the town.

Mugabi also suffered from ill health as he was HIV positive and wanted to obtain NHS treatment.

Catherine Stock, defending, said Mukanakusi, who currently works as a care worker, and Mugabi, who was a former captain in the Ugandan Navy, were both extremely remorseful about their actions.

Judge Rupert Mayo, sentencing, said both defendants had been treated “abominably” by their home countries.

He said: “I am not an immigration judge so it is not my decision to make on your applications but I do hope they proceed swiftly.”