Manchester Crown court in the United Kingdom has shown mercy to a Nigerian immigrant after she admitted to working illegally to feed her kids.
Adeyinka Gbemisola, 45, came into the UK on a visitor visa that permitted her to remain in the country till 2023 but prevented her from working.
Police detained Gbemisola after Manchester-based job agency Local Care Force checked her CV and was unable to make contact with her referees.
The agency became suspicious about the work documents she provided, and, upon investigations, it was discovered that she had previously worked illegally in the UK via another recruitment agency on £9 per hour and earned around £1,800.
Gbemisola was charged to court, where her lawyer Joshua Bowker argued that she had fled Nigeria from an abusive husband and had to obtain a fake UK resident’s card for a job in the care industry.
Bowker appealed to the judge to consider Gbemisola, saying she took the chance “to put food on the table for her two kids not to fund a lavish lifestyle,” and that her children would “suffer” if she was jailed.
Already out of job over the ordeal, Gbemisola was now unable to pay her rent, her lawyer said. “They are the best thing in her life, she is the best thing in their lives and they would go into care if she were to be sent to prison today,” Bowker noted about the defendant’s relationship with her kids, adding that she was a first offender.
“I accept you did this in order to earn money for your children,” said sentencing Judge Hilary Manley, “But this must be taken seriously because those documents could have been used by someone with more sinister intentions to obtain work with vulnerable people and put them at risk.”
“I take the view that you are clearly remorseful, have a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, are a full-time carer for your children and they would suffer greatly if you were to go to prison today,” the judge ruled yesterday, handing her a six-month suspended sentence.
A suspended sentence places a defendant on probation and is likely to be discharged if the defendant does not break the law during the probation.
It is hoped that the ruling may pave way for an upgrade in Gbemisola’s immigration status.