AN Iraqi immigrant who used forged documents to get work he was not entitled to take yesterday had his 15-month jail term slashed by six months at the Court of Appeal in London.
Aram Hassan Rahim, 30, of Bradford Road, Fartown, will now serve no more than four-and-a-half months in prison, half of the nine-month term imposed at the hearing.
Rahim, who came to the UK illegally in September, 2003, admitted possession of a false identity document and obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception at Leeds Crown Court in April.
He had been refused asylum on his arrival in the country, but not deported because it was considered unsafe to do so.
He refused to leave voluntarily and received subsistence and accommodation support from the National Asylum Support Service.
However, he then went on to take work as a warehouseman and through an agency in Huddersfield. He admitted paying a person to alter his residence card to read "employment permitted" when he was not, in fact, entitled to obtain work in this country.
Slashing his jail term in a short hearing at the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Grigson, who heard the case with Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice MacDuff, said the level of sentence was appropriate for far more serious examples of such offences.
"Had the forged documents in this case been a passport, the sentence imposed would have been unimpeachable," the judge told the court.
"However, we take the view that, given the nature of the documents here, a sentence as long as 15 months was manifestly excessive.
"The appropriate sentence would have been nine months."