AN illegal immigrant who was jailed for a £70,000 benefits scam is again behind bars after she was caught getting a job with a fake residence permit.
Zimbabwean national Grace Jinjika was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2015 after she illegally claimed benefits between May 2005 and October 2013.
Having been released from that sentence, the 42-year-old of Flatford Place, Kidlington, appeared again at Oxford Crown Court today.
She pleaded guilty at that hearing to one count of fraud and one of having an identity document with improper intention.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Jonathan Stone said that Jinjika first came to the UK nearly 20 years ago on a six-month visa.
She went on to repeatedly apply for leave to remain and was repeatedly refused.
In 2015 she was jailed for fraudulently claiming benefits including council tax and housing benefit to the value of about £70,000.
Prosecutors said she was not deported after that sentence as the UK was not deporting criminals back to Zimbabwe at that time.
After her release Jinjika went on to get a job as a carer with the company Oasis in Abingdon.
The court heard that as part of her application she had supplied a copy of a fake residence permit.
She went on to work there from January 2019.
The company said later if it had been known Jinjika was not legally allowed to work she would not have been hired, but it did praise her work.
It was also revealed that she was initially released from her jail term in May 2017 and her post-release licence period expired in August last year.
As the offences were committed in November last year she was not in breach of any licence period.
In mitigation at yesterday’s hearing, her defence barrister said his client had a number of health difficulties and had been diagnosed with HIV and bipolar disorder and was taking medication for her condition.
Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly said: “In this case I have heard that you worked caring for other people and you were considered to be an extremely good worker.
“Nonetheless as you know you should not have been here, you should have not have been taking these jobs.”
She was jailed for 12 months on each count to run concurrently and must pay a victim surcharge.
Source: Oxford Mail