Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Man's 20-year fake identity

2014-11-24 19:49:51

Duncan Kennedy reports

The former head of the Somerset Racial Equality Council has been convicted of fraud after stealing another man's identity.

The man who claimed to be David Onamade was also found guilty of trying to claim benefits and possessing documents for use in connection with fraud.

The jury at Taunton Crown Court heard he managed to get hold of the identity of the real David Onamade, 52, an autistic man from London.

He was found guilty of all charges.

The court was told he had lived with another man's identity for more than 20 years.

David Onamade
The man (on the right) who claimed to be David Onamade (left) was found guilty of all charges against him

The jury found him found guilty of three charges of fraudulently trying to claim benefits and two charges of possessing documents - a birth certificate and a driving licence - for use in connection with fraud.

The case came to court after the defendant tried to claim Jobseeker's Allowance after the Somerset Racial Equality Council went out of business.

It is not clear how he got hold of Mr Onamade's identity, but the jury was told he may have bought his birth certificate in Nigeria.

The bogus David Onamade lived in the West Country with his partner for 10 years, and has two children with her.

He was sentenced to nine months in jail, but because he has already served 13 months on remand he walked free from court.

Judge Jeffrey Mercer said: "You have used copies of the birth certificate belonging to another person.

"Your future in this country has to be uncertain but that is not a matter for this court. Your status here is not part of my remit."


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