A special Column for community and Police issues.
MAN JAILED FOR FALSE IDENTITY
A MAN who lived for 5 years under the identity of someone else has been sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment.
'Mohammed Suleyman', a Nigerian national in his 30's, of West Street, Erith, Kent, falsely used a copy of a birth certificate of a genuine British passport holder obtained in 2002 and had assumed their identity ever since. He used this identity to illegally remain in the UK and went on to obtain bank accounts, credit card accounts and run up considerable debts.
He also obtained a council property which he sublet and used all the amenities available to a UK citizen. Upon his arrest, he refused to reveal his true identity to detectives, and openly challenged officers to prove who he was.
The genuine Mohammed Suleyman was born on 13.4.81 in an Islington hospital and has not yet been traced by police.
'Suleyman' also stole the identity details and passport number of a woman he had never met and falsely entered her as his counter-signatory on his passport application. He claimed she was a friend of his working as an IT Consultant and living in Barking.
It became apparent she was actually someone who had never met him, who had never visited London and who worked for the police in the north of England.
After having been issued a British passport, suspicions were raised by the UK Passport Service. The Metropolitan Police's Operation Maxim had already executed a warrant on suspicion of the legitimacy of a document brought to their attention.
Further investigation and intelligence sharing between the Police and the UK Passport Service showed that the address the passport was sent to was associated to a known fraudster.
Following the three day trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the jury took just fifteen minutes to return a unanimous verdict of guilty on 4.5.07. The man assuming the identity of 'Mohammed Suleyman' was sentenced to 2 and a half years imprisonment with a recommendation for deportation following his sentence.
The officer in charge of the investigation, DC Neil Taylor of the Met's Operation Maxim, said, "This, still unidentified, Nigerian man was convinced he had duped the authorities for some five years into believing he was Mr Mohammed Suleyman.
By working closely with our partner agencies - the Identity and Passport Service and Immigration Service, Operation Maxim have managed to stop this consummate fraudster from committing further crime.
"The considerable sentence handed down by the judge reflects the seriousness with which the courts treat the abuse of a single document, in this case, a British Passport."
Operation Maxim is a multi-agency unit comprising of experienced detectives and police staff from the Metropolitan Police's Economic and Specialist Command, working in partnership with officers from the Identity and Passport Service and the UK Immigration Service. Operation Maxim specialises in organised criminality against the UK's Immigration Service and deal with areas such as human trafficking, human smuggling and counterfeit document abuse.
WEST MIDLAND'S Police are appealing for information nearly five years to the day since the murder of a man in Walsall, West Midlands.
Simon Medley, aged 26 at the time of his death, died after being found in Prince Street at around 8pm on Sunday 12 May 2002. He had received stab wounds.
As it approaches the fifth anniversary of his death, police are renewing their appeal for help and asking anyone who has information about what happened to come forward.
They are particularly keen to trace a man named Jonathon Everton Bailey, who also goes by the street name 'Famous'. He is thought to be in the West Midlands or the London area and it is believed he may be able to assist with the inquiry into Simon Medley's death.
Police are also keen to speak to a second man known as 'Blacks', he is described as being aged approximately 31, black, 5ft 4ins to 5ft 9ins tall with distinctive staring eyes.
Detective Chief Inspector Una Cooke, leading the investigation, said: "After five years we are as committed as ever to bringing offenders to justice andbringing some sort of closure to Simon's family.
"We urge anyone with information which may help us locate Jonathan Everton Bailey to come forward."
Police are appealing for anyone who recognises this man and who knows of his whereabouts or anyone with information which may assist with this inquiry to contact officers in confidence on 0845 113 5000 and ask for the Major Investigation Unit alternatively people can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.