Ten-year passport deception of illegal immigrant family

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A woman who created a false identity for herself and her three children in order to stay in the UK illegally for more than a decade has been jailed.

Kalsoom Bibi, 50, was given a 12-month sentence yesterday after a court heard she made up an elaborate lie to Home Office officials so her family would be granted British citizenship.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bibi came to the UK from Pakistan in 2001 with her three daughters, then aged 15, 13 and ten, and made an application to stay.

She told officials that she had suffered abuse and violence from her husband and feared further attacks if she returned to Pakistan.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said the application was refused in 2002 and Bibi, who was then living in Thornbury Drive, Pudsey, then applied for asylum seeker status but failed to turn up for a screening interview. In October that year Bibi, then applied for asylum under the name of Zulekha Khan and also made up names for her children.

This time she told officials that her husband was a drug addict who physically abused her and had tried to arrange a marriage for one of their children to another drug addict.

The application was accepted and the family were granted British citizenship and were issued with British passports.

The court heard during their time in the UK the family claimed £100 a week in benefits.

The deception did not come to light until earlier this year when photographs of Bibi and her children held on home Office files were found to match those on the bogus application under Zulekha Khan.

Bibi, now of Cedar Close, Armley, admitted the deception after her arrest and pleaded guilty to remaining in the UK by deception and possessing a false identification document.

Shila Whitehead, for Bibi, told the court her client no previous convictions and committed the offences in order to protect her children.

PIC: Neil Cross

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