AN illegal immigrant from Albania managed to reach the UK and travel to the North-East after buying fake identity documents purporting he was a Slovenian national, a court was told.

Police stopped the defendant as he was driving a vehicle in Polam Road, Darlington, at 2.25pm on August 3, last year.

Durham Crown Court heard he produced a Slovenian driver’s licence and identity card, both in the name Nerim Isati.

He was arrested on other matters while the licence and identity cards were sent for examination by the National Document Fraud Unit, which confirmed both were counterfeit.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said inquiries with the Slovenian embassy confirmed no-one of that name and the date of birth of April 5, 1995, appeared on the country’s national database.

The original cards were said to have been issued to a female Slovenian citizen.

Mr Dryden said a Home Office files exists in the name of Isati and a finger print check confirmed he made two failed asylum requests to come to the UK, in France, in 2013 and 2015.

When originally interviewed he claimed the documents were genuine and said he had lived for much of his life in France.

He gave addresses in France and n Middlesbrough, but police could locate neither.

The defendant claimed to have come to the UK on a flight from Milan to Manchester, on June 13, last year, and was staying at the time in Middlesbrough.

He was found to have previous convictions in France, including one for a weapons offence for which he was jailed in March 2015.

It emerged at a previous hearing that his real identity is Nerim Trezhnjea and he claimed he paid 10,000 euros for the documents, knowing they were fake, having been asked to provide a false name by the seller.

Mr Dryden said while in custody documentation has been served on 24-year-old Albanian by the Immigration Service for his deportation.

He previously admitted two counts of possessing an identity document with false intent.

Judge James Adkin imposed a 15-month prison sentence and told Trezhnjea he is likely to be deported when he is released on licence at the mid-point of the jail term.