Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Housing worker smuggled baby to get council flat

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0796.htm

A woman who bought a baby boy in Nigeria for Pfund150 and smuggled him to the UK in an attempt to get a free council flat was sentenced to 26 months in prison yesterday. Peace Sandberg, 40, a housing support worker, was called "manipulative and a stranger to the truth" by the judge at Isleworth crown court, west London. After buying the child Sandberg used a forged birth certificate to get a visa for him from the British high commission in Nigeria, her native country. Within hours of landing at Heathrow airport Sandberg, a support worker at Kensington Housing Trust who had been living in a hostel, was at Ealing council's homeless persons unit, cradling the child in her arms. She claimed she had returned to Africa in December 2006 to give birth and needed a flat for herself and her "son". But the court heard she was immediately recognised by Lizette Reddy, a housing officer. Reddy remembered Sandberg, who has joint Nigerian and Swedish nationality, as not being pregnant when she saw her two months earlier. Sandberg denied any wrongdoing, claiming she had adopted her cousin's orphaned son to give him a better life in Britain. She also said she took the Pfund150 to Nigeria simply to help care for him while she was out there. But a jury took 40 minutes to unanimously convict her of one count of child trafficking.

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