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Failed asylum seeker caught in Blackburn
A 24-year-old failed asylum seeker who had been hiding out in Blackburn for three years was arrested after going on a shoplifting spree.
But his arrest caused problems for a man with the same name who was arrested as he tried to fly off on a sunshine holiday.
Blackburn magistrates heard Faizan Khan had gone on the run after stealing £3,500 from his boss in Birmingham.
He was also wanted by the UK Border Authority.
When he was arrested for shoplifting in Blackburn Mall police linked him to the Birmingham offence.
Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said police in Liverpool had also arrested a man with the same name and a similar date of birth.
“They rang the cells this morning to say Faizan Khan would not be appearing because he had been arrested trying to board a plane to Portugal,” said Mr Church-Taylor.
“Clearly there has been a case of mistaken identity with unfortunate consequences for the man who spent a night in police cells instead of starting his holiday on the Algarve.”
Khan, of Blackburn Street, Blackburn, admitted to stealing perfume worth £66 from Debenhams, socks and underwear worth £11 from Primark, a t-shirt worth £10 from Blue INC, and toiletries worth £12 from Bodycare.
He also pleaded guilty to the theft by employee in Birmingham in 2010.
He was jailed for 12 weeks suspended for 12 months after the court was told he would be taken to Walton Prison in Liverpool to be processed by the Border Agency.
Mr Church-Taylor said Khan had stolen the money in Birmingham because his employers had not been paying him what he was owed.
“He came to this country on a visitor’s visa which expired and he became an overstayer who was not entitled to benefits and had no means of support,” said Mr Church-Taylor.
“He worked in the shop in Birmingham for little reward and after the theft came to Blackburn where he has worked as a car valeter ever since. To his credit he has stayed out of trouble until yesterday.”
Mr Church-Taylor said Khan had been served with notices which effectively say he will be deported.