A TAKEAWAY boss landed in court on an immigration charge after he was pressured into taking on his relative.
Jaspir Singh Dhesi gave his wife’s cousin Kulwant Singh Khakh somewhere to live and a job at Shira’s Village Fish Bar in Murton.
But the businessman’s actions led to a charge of assisting an unlawful immigrant in a member state, after the UK Border Agency visited the Doxford Terrace shop after a tip-off.
Durham Crown Court heard officials became suspicious of Khakh when they called in one day in March.
When quizzed whether he had a passport, he replied “I think so” and said had been in the UK for a “little while”.
But Geoff Mason, prosecuting, said this was a lie and the passport produced was a fake.
Investigations found Khakh, 25, now of Johnston Street, West Bromwich, had been in the country since he was 16 when he travelled in from India on someone else’s passport.
Sukhdev Garcha, mitigating for Indian-born Dhesi, said he succumbed to the demands of his family.
Recorder Peter Makepeace sentenced Dhesi to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and Khahk to six months, suspended for 12 months, with both given 150 hours’ unpaid work.
He also ordered 39-year-old Dhesi, of Stephens Road, Murton, to pay half the £3,000 court costs.