Eoin Reynolds and Natasha Reid
An Afghani man has begun a one-year jail term, after he was caught with 14 bogus identity cards.
Akbar Jafari (35), who was given a fully suspended sentence for the crime, was sentenced by the Court of Appeal, after the three-judge court decided his original sentence was unduly lenient.
Jafari, who has been granted refugee status, told gardaí when he was arrested that he had been in contact with a Nigerian man in Dublin, who had agreed to make 14 fake identities for members of his family who were hoping to come to Europe.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring with others to make false identification documents between January 2 and January 17, 2017. Judge Melanie Greally imposed a fully suspended two-year sentence.
Delivering judgement in January, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, sitting with Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy and President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, said the trial judge fell into error by suspending the sentence without a basis for doing so. He said the court would quash the sentence and impose a two-year jail term with the second year suspended on condition that he enter a bond to be of good behaviour.
He entered that bond in court today and his sentenced commenced. The court had agreed in January to allow Mr Jafari to complete an educational course before the sentence would be imposed.
At a sentence hearing in 2018 Detective Garda Colin Barker said Jafari came to Ireland from Afghanistan in 2007 to escape the war there. He was later granted refugee status. Jafari told gardaí that he tried to facilitate the travel of these people to Europe because they were his family members, and he knew what they were feeling. He said he had come to Ireland illegally too.
“I am human and I have a heart,” Jafari told gardaí.
“He was trying to get them into the country,” Det Gda Barker told Seamus Clarke SC, defending.
“He was acting in what he felt was a humanitarian crisis. He claimed they were family, but there is no way of clarifying that because of the current regime in Afghanistan,” Det Gda Barker said.