Illegal immigrant worked at House of Lords for six months after using fake passport to get kitchen job
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:39 PM on 10th March 2010
An illegal immigrant worked for six months serving lunch at House of Lords after using a fake passport to get the job, a court heard today.
Nigerian Modupeola Fatoyinbo, 41, was employed as a casual catering assistant in the Palace of Westminster.
When she was invited to apply for a permanent job she produced a fake passport, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Peter Zinner said the defendant had been able to find work at the Houses of Parliament with ease.
The House of Lords. Fatoyinbo was able to work for six months w
Breach: Fatoyinbo was able to work for six months in the House of Lords after using a fake passport
He said: 'It seems that for a number of months, probably about six, Mrs Fatoyinbo had been working as a casual worker in the catering department at the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster.
'To gain access to the relevant department, she had been issued with a visitor's pass, and she would be met by a member of catering staff, who would escort her to the department.
'The result of this was that she was working in a secure area without being security checked.'
When Fatoyinbo was eventually invited to apply for the role formally, she produced a fake Nigerian passport.
Mr Zinner said: 'It was found to be a false, counterfeit document, containing a counterfeit Home Office leave to remain in the UK and permission to do work.'
Fatoyinbo was arrested and admitted she knew the passport was fake, telling police that she had bought it for 170 from a friend.
Home Office records subsequently showed that she had legally arrived in the UK in 2000, and had applied to stay in the country on the grounds of long residence, but that application was refused in May 2006.
Mr Zinner added that there was no 'sinister' motive for Fatoyinbo having worked in Parliament.
Jailing Fatoyinbo for four months, Judge Andrew Goymer told her: 'These are serious offences, which undermine confidence in the management and identity control systems of this country.
'People must expect to go to prison for such offences.
'I bear in mind that you are of previous good character, and have two young children.
'I have also been told that you pose no security or terrorist threat, and as far as I'm aware, you did not present a security risk to the Palace of Westminster.'
The court heard Fatoyinbo, has lived in the UK for 16 years without any right to do so.
Victor Onipede, defending, said she is currently seeking asylum and claims her two young daughters will apparently face forcible female circumcision if she has to return to Nigeria.
He said that although she accepts having worked illegally since arriving in this country, she has never claimed benefits and is not a burden on the state.
Mr Onipede added that 'financial pressure' had driven Fatoyinbo to offend, and that she was 'very remorseful and sorry' for what she had done.
The judge made no deportation recommendation because of the ongoing asylum application.
Fatoyinbo admitted a single count of possessing a false identity document