A qualified veterinary surgeon gave up his job as the manager of a toxicology lab in his native Belarus ‘to improve his economic situation.’
And Dzmitry Striha managed to do so by using a forged ID card to get a job at a supermarket distribution centre in this country, a judge has heard.
Striha, 32, of Cambridge Street, Rugby, was jailed for eight months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of fraud and possessing a false identity document.
And Judge Marten Coates recommended that once he has served his sentence Striha, a Belarus national who had no rights to enter the UK, should be deported.
Prosecutor Iain Willis said Striha had entered this country using a Lithuanian identity card in a false name.
Having been here for some time, in October last year he went to the Jobcentre in Cofa Court, Coventry, where he applied for a National Insurance number.
But he was arrested because staff were not satisfied with the identity card he was using to support his application.
When Striha was questioned he immediately made a full and frank admission and said he had bought the fake ID card before coming to this country, added Mr Willis.
Peter Cooper, defending, said: “He’s an educated man. He’s a qualified veterinary surgeon and was the manager of a toxicology laboratory at home.”But after Striha and his wife separated, his salary was insufficient to live on and to support their son.
So he gave up his job and came to this country because ‘he had wanted to improve his economic situation and to help his son.’
Mr Cooper said Striha was working at the Tesco distribution centre in Daventry, where deductions were made from his pay under an emergency tax code.
“The reason for seeking the National Insurance number was so that he could pay the proper tax amount.
“He is an intelligent man, and he feels ashamed of what he’s done,” Mr Cooper added.
Jailing Striha, Judge Marten Coates told him through an interpreter: “I accept everything Mr Cooper has told me about you.
“The problem is there are very many people in Europe in a similar situation to you, and many of them come to this country to try to take advantage of our benefit system.
“I accept that is not the case here; but, for whatever reason, you gained entry to our country dishonestly.
“The message must go out that the courts treat such offences seriously. However, I accept your motives, and reduce the sentence from what I would otherwise have imposed.”