African woman jailed and facing deportation after using sister’s passport to get job at Sunderland care home

Victoria Lodge Care Home - off Leechmere Road (near the Hollymere Pub), Sunderland. (The care home stands opposite The Huntercombe Centre, which I think is a alcohol and drug rehabilitation unit).
Victoria Lodge Care Home - off Leechmere Road (near the Hollymere Pub), Sunderland. (The care home stands opposite The Huntercombe Centre, which I think is a alcohol and drug rehabilitation unit).
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A woman has been jailed – and will be deported – after using her sister’s passport to gain false identify to work in the UK.

Cynthia Acheampong, originally from Ghana, was living illegally in the UK when she started work at the Victoria Lodge care home in Sunderland.

Victoria Lodge Care Home - off Leechmere Road (near the Hollymere Pub), stands opposite The Huntercombe Centre (pictured), which I think is a alcohol and drug rehabilitation unit.

Victoria Lodge Care Home - off Leechmere Road (near the Hollymere Pub), stands opposite The Huntercombe Centre (pictured), which I think is a alcohol and drug rehabilitation unit.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Doreen Acheampong, who was nationalised in 2010, allowed her sister to use her passport in order to gain the job as a carer in June this year.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said: “The immigration crime team in Durham were made aware of Cynthia who at the time was working at Victoria Lodge care home in Sunderland.

“She was using the identify of her sister. The management team became suspicious and an investigation was carried out.”

When an immigration officer spotted the passport belonged to Doreen, 30, and not Cynthia, 35, both sisters were arrested.

Mr Rowland said: “Doreen stated she had provided Cynthia with her passport in order for Cynthia to obtain employment.”

The court heard how Cynthia had arrived in the UK illegally and had been working for many years in the care industry.

Cynthia Acheampong, of Gray Road, Hendon, Sunderland, admitted possession of identify document with improper intention.

Doreen Acheampong, formally of the same address, pleaded guilty to supplying an article for use in fraud.

Brian Hegarty, defending, told the court Doreen Acheampong could be suspended or struck off from her job if she was given a custodial sentence.

He said: “She was candid with the police and honest. She didn’t seek to blame her sister. The professional body of pharmacists take a dim view of those convicted of fraud.

“She did what she thought was best to help her sister, not to live an extravagant life style.”

Mr Hegarty, also defending Cynthia Acheampong, said: “She was doing work that she’s well qualified to do. Work that employers find hard to fill with long hours and very little pay. She has a five-year-old daughter born in this country.

“It’s not as if these were forged passports. It’s simply the use of a passport legally issued.”

The Judge, Recorder Euan Duff told Cynthia Acheampong she did not have the right to work or live in the UK.

He said: “You entered illegally and you have been here illegally ever since. You never had any right to work at all. Your presence in the UK has been unlawful from start to finish.

“You had no right to work here and you had no right to be here.”

He sentenced Cynthia Acheampong to 12 months in prison and told her she will be made subject to automatic deportation.

Doreen Acheampong, who has since moved out of the area, broke down in tears as her sister was led into custody.

Recorder Duff told Doreen Acheampong: “It’s apparent by your reaction that you are surprised by the sentence upon your sister.

“You have facilitated the commission of that offence by supporting her with your passport.”

He sentenced Doreen Acheampong to 12 months in prison suspended for two weeks.

He also ordered her to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £100.