A MAN under investigation by the Immigration Service relating to his identity, was found to have a forged driving licence, a court heard.

Boomie Shodeinde told investigators he had a full licence, when in reality he bought the convincing counterfeit document after failing his driving test.

Durham Crown Court heard the false licence came to light when immigration investigators were looking into his identity, in December 2015.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, told the court: “The counterfeit looks a good one and an expert had to be called in as it bears all the hallmarks of a genuine licence.

“Police went to his home with immigration officers as he was being investigated over his identity.

“The Crown can’t prove to the required standard that he is who he says he is, but we can say that the driving document found was a false one.

“For the purposes of their investigation he was arrested and among the property seized was the false licence.

“He was interviewed about other matters, but, when asked about the licence, he admitted purchasing it, having failed his driving test.

“We can’t be certain as to the motive, other than it was to appear that he was entitled to drive, unaccompanied by a qualified driver, when, in fact, he was not.

“The Home Office have a different standard of proof and matters on that side of things are still on-going.”

Asked by Recorder Andrew Dallas if the defendant had a vehicle of any sort, Mr Abrahams said he understood he had access to a car, as he was recently stopped in Newcastle while driving unaccompanied.

Fifty-year-old Shodeinde, of Humber Street, Chopwell, near Consett, admitted possession of an identity document with improper intention, knowing it to be false.

Yvonne Taylor, mitigating, said he is a married man of 25 years, in mostly full-time employment since entering the country in 1986.

Having gained degree qualifications, he came to the North-East to work in IT support for a disability charity and a Tyneside hospice.

Asked about the licence, Miss Taylor said: “He made a stupid mistake as he needed to drive as a result of his employment.”

She said he now has a provisional licence and acts as a carer for his wife who has health difficulties.

Recorder Dallas said the offence “crosses the custody threshold”, but, given the defendant’s circumstances, he was able to suspend the sentence.

Imposing an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, he ordered Shodeinde to complete 200-hours’ unpaid work.