It is always nice to do a news story, seeing as the last 7 years or so of my life have been spent doing shite celebrity pictures for the Sunday Mirror. Last week I was at Croydon Law Courts looking for a civil servant called Valentina Costley who was paid £3,000 a time to countersign passport applications for illegal immigrants. Mostly black, and mostly drug dealers but potentially they could have been terrorists, Ms. COSTLEY didn’t care.
She was jailed for 2 years and two months for each of 12 offences to be served concurrently, which strikes me as just wrong 26 years seems much fairer. However the coppers dealing with the case seemed to think that this was a good result as they usually just get a slap on the wrist.
Ms COSTLEY who worked for the Job Centre came up with the usual old bollox defence, that she thought she would stand a chance of getting back with her ex-partner, if she countersigned passport applications for his friends, surely she realised that she was doing something wrong when the same person wanted two passports in different names?
This is London reported it like this:
A corrupt civil servant who falsely completed and countersigned passports has been sentenced to 26 months in jail.
Valentina Costley, aged 43, of Billington Road, New Cross, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on August 2.
She had pleaded guilty to 12 counts of forgery and two counts of facilitating the unlawful entry of illegal immigrants into the UK.
A further 12 cases will lay on file.
Costley was given details of strangers wanting a passport for illegal purposes and would charge up to £3,000 per application.
She completed passport applications for eight people with false names and addresses and then countersigned them, stating she had known the applicants for three years.
Over a four-year period, Costley completed 12 separate applications, leading to 10 genuine UK passports being issued.
At least three of the false passport holders were known to have used the passports to travel into and out of the UK.
The passports were mainly sold to Jamaicans who wanted to enter the UK or USA illegally.
Judge Timothy Stow QC said: “These are serious offences. You were asked to be a counter-signatory as you were in a position of responsibility and respect.
“You abused your position by signing passport applications you knew to be incorrect, undermining our border and immigration controls and confidence in the validity of British passports.”
Detective Chief Inspector John Kielty, head of the Metropolitan police’s Operation Maxim, which targets human smuggling networks, said: “This case clearly demonstrates the far-reaching consequences of unlawfully signing passport applications.
“Valentina Costley’s actions assisted people who in some cases went on to commit serious crime in the UK or held a criminal record.”
The case follows an 18-month joint investigation between the Metropolitan police operations Maxim and Trident, the Identity and Passport Service, Border and Immigration Agency plus other government agencies
As usual getting the i.d of the individual was a problem, all we knew was a name and later we got an age. So it was a case of shooting every female that fitted the profile that we had. Eventually it was narrowed down to black females entering court, of which there was a lot.