Success Stories

No case to answer for possession of false ID document

By Phoebe Coleman  |  24.08.2023

Our client was charged with possession of a false ID document with improper intent in relation to a false Portuguese driving license. He was also charged with one count of fraud regarding his use of this document to attempt to obtain a UK driving license.

Our client was a man of good character. He was Brazilian national who wished to be a footballer. During his career he became qualified as a referee as well. He was invited to referee for the International Football Federation in Portugal, but he realised he could not follow this career path without a European passport. He then came to the UK as this country does not require a European passport for a person to qualify as a referee in the Football Association. He was also invited to test for Football teams in the UK.

Whilst in Portugal, he obtained a false Portuguese driving license which he believed to be legitimate. When he came to the UK, he used this license to apply for a UK driving license. His false license was seized, and he was arrested. He explained the situation in interview, maintaining his innocence.

He was charged, and proceedings commenced. The defence put together a detailed jury bundle showing translated email correspondence in which our client attempted to obtain a license from the Portuguese authorities, and then from a contact he believed worked at those authorities. We also obtained an expert opinion regarding the process and the cost of obtaining a Portuguese license. His trial, originally listed for 10th October 2022, was adjourned to allow the police to investigate the email correspondence.

Minimal further evidence was served as a result. When his trial was re-listed, Counsel made a submission of no case to answer at halftime. She argued that there was insufficient evidence that our client knew the license was false. The submission was accepted.

Not-guilty verdicts were entered for our client. He was able to walk away from the proceedings after over 2 years with his good character and without the stress of giving evidence at trial. He was overjoyed and said:


He was able to continue his refereeing and football careers, which he would have been unable to do if convicted.

Phoebe Coleman was the solicitor with conduct of this case. Alexandra Monaghan of Crucible Law was instructed. Her well-considered submissions and strong advocacy secured a brilliant result for this client.

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