TWO Romanian men were caught trying to enter the UK illegally at Fishguard over the weekend.
The men, aged 32 and 26, were arrested at Fishguard on Sunday, May 15, and appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday, May 17.
Each man was charged with possessing identity documents relating to someone else, namely a passport. This is contrary to section 4 of the Identity Documentation Act 2010.
Both men had to be aided by a translator in court.
Prosecuting solicitor Dennis Davies explained that, despite the language barrier, each defendant knew what they were doing.
“Both these defendants made full admissions of being in possession of the disputed documents and making entry into the country,” began Mr Davies.
“One of the defendants said the passport he used belonged to his brother-in-law.
“He took the passport in Romania without his brother-in-law’s consent and confirmed he knew he should not use another person’s passport to enter the UK.
“He claimed he intended to find work as a construction worker, but had no specific job lined up.
“He intended to remain for three weeks wanting to get some money to send over to his wife and three children.
“The other defendant confirmed his intention was to leave Romania for London and find employment and accommodation.
“He also confirmed he did not have the right documentation and had not allowed for a work visa.
“He admitted he presented a Romanian passport in the name of someone else and he knew he would not be able to gain access without a passport and that his Romanian identity document was not enough.”
In mitigation defence solicitor Mr Tom Lloyd revealed the men had intended to get across to London.
“On my first client,” said Mr Lloyd, “his intentions were to do some short term work in the Wembley area. His brother lives there and he was intending to send money back to support his young children and family.
“For my other client, his intentions was to stay at that same address until he had established accommodation for himself. He has previously worked in the UK legally and has a national insurance number.”
A bail application was made with Mr Lloyd saying that using regular check-ups at their intended destination’s police station, both men could be kept under control, and they did not pose a threat to anyone.
“Yes this is a serious offence,” said Mr Lloyd, “but let us look at the reality of this case.
“We have two young men who have made an extremely stupid and foolish decision for the purpose of working and providing for their young families.
“They have never been and are terrified of going to prison. If they had known the seriousness of what they were doing they would never have done it.”
Mr Davies took a different viewpoint, believing that the men could not be trusted to attend court if released.
“The Crown say that, the defendant's lack of community ties in the country, if they were given bail there is reasonable grounds to be believe they would not attend crown court.”
Bail was not granted because magistrates felt there was substantial grounds to believe the defendants would not return to court.
It was also felt the lack of community ties in the country and the serious nature of the offence meant the defendants had to be remanded in custody.
The next court date is set for June 14 at Swansea Crown.