Feb 14, 2019 News Comments Off on Woman sentenced to prison, fined for impersonating sister to apply for passport
A Kitty woman who acquired five passports under three different names yesterday returned to court yesterday before Senior Magistrate Faith McGusty in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and changed her plea for a charge made out against her for false declaration.
Unique Angelica Hope first appeared on January 25, 2019 and proclaimed her innocence to the charge. She was released on $100,000 bail. This time around she admitted to committing the crime however, she wished to give no explanation as to why she changed her plea.
It was alleged that on January 17, 2018 at the Central Immigration Office Georgetown, for the purpose of acquiring a new passport, Hope made a false declaration, stating that she was Corretta Hope, knowing same to be false.
The accused was represented by attorney at law Stanley Moore, who informed the court that Hope is the mother of two. He stated that she resides at Lot 126 Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown.
According to police prosecutor Annalisa Brummell, the accused has two passports with the name Unique Angelica Hope, another two with the name Onika Ann Benjamin and now Coretta Hope. It was also noted by the prosecutor that Hope stated that two of the passports she has were damaged.
The defendant was given her first passport under the name Unique Angelica Hope. Then she returned to Guyana and obtained another; she went to Barbados but overstayed and was deported.
Upon her return to Guyana, she reportedly obtained another passport under the name Onika Ann Benjamin. Hope then returned to Barbados. However, she was once again deported after overstaying her time.
When she returned to Guyana, it is alleged that Hope went to the Central Immigration and Passport Office and gave her name as Coretta Hope, who is her sister.
The prosecutor also highlighted that investigations are ongoing and other charges are likely to be made out against Hope.
Moreover, the attorney stated that the defendant would travel to Barbados to earn money to upkeep her children. He went on to say that she admits to using her sister’s birth certificate to acquire the new passport so that she can return to Barbados.
The attorney pleaded with the magistrate to show mercy when handing down her sentence.
Prosecutor Brummell indicated that such a charge can impose a fine of $40,000 to $80,000 and imprisonment up to two years. She argued that the defendant repeatedly went to the immigration office with false declarations and as such the magistrate should send a strong message to her so that she can curb her behaviour in future.
Hope broke down in tears when the sentence was laid out. The court taking into consideration the guilty plea of Hope fined her $40,000 and instructed that she serve six months in prison.
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