Traveller caught using fake passport under older woman’s name

A traveller used a fake passport under an older woman’s name after she was refused entry into Australia.

The Department of Internal Affairs prosecuted Josephine Wade, 47, after an audit found she had her photograph in passports in two different names.

Wade appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday, where she pleaded guilty to charges of making a false or misleading passport application, and using the false passport.

The court heard that Wade was born in Invercargill in 1968. Her image appeared in a passport in that name but also in a passport for Dana Spencer, who was born in Christchurch in 1963.

Wade, whose address was given on the charges as “Australia”, admitted witnessing the photograph in the application herself.

When questioned, Wade said she applied for a passport in Spencer’s name in 2002 because she was refused entry into Australia using her own.

She used the fake passport to travel to Australia for work, she said. She also travelled to Britain.

Judge Chris Sygrove considered dealing with the case immediately but then saw that the maximum penalty under the Passports Act was 10 years’ imprisonment.

Instead, he remanded Wade on bail for a pre-sentence report and sentencing on November 24. A report will be prepared on her suitability for home or community detention.

Defence counsel April Kelland said Wade did have convictions on her record, but they now dated back a long time.


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