Identity theft 'asylum seeker' Rose Konadu gets 30 months in jail for £88,000 benefit fraud
AN "asylum seeker" who claimed £88,000 in benefits illegally after taking on the identity of another women has been jailed for 30 months.
Rose Konadu used the name of a woman who had her passport stolen in the Netherlands in 1999.
Konadu was found guilty in December of fraud and possessing false documents.
Derby Crown Court was told that she had since admitted the offences. She falsely claimed the benefits between 2002 and 2008.
Konadu, of Magellan Way, Wilmorton, came to the UK in 2002, claiming she had fled Sierra Leone, where rebels had killed members of her family. She had, in fact, come from Ghana.
Sunit Sandhu, for Konadu, said: "There is always a reason for people coming to the UK. It was a difficult decision for her to leave Ghana, leaving a daughter behind. She is a wonderful mother and a big member of the community."
Judge John Burgess said: "I have no doubt she is a wonderful mother and works in the community. But she pulled the wool over everyone's eyes for a very long time. The crimes were fraudulent from the outset and significant in number."
He said Konadu had taken advantage of laws designed to "help people who need to flee from war-torn countries".
Sentenced with her was her husband, Kwame Akowuah, who admitted obtaining work with false documents. He used his brother's passport to find work in spring 2007.
Akowuah came to the UK in August 2003 on a six-month visitor visa that did not permit him to work.
David Outterside, prosecuting, said: "He was very frank about what he did and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."
Akowuah was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
He must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
In suspending Akowuah's sentence, Judge Burgess said: "Both parents should not be away from the family unit, causing more damage to the four children you have at home.
"The children are further victims of your actions and have been punished enough."
Konadu was jailed for 30 months in total with 12-month sentences running concurrently for deception, false identification and obtaining false passports for her children.