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Hinckley sports club steward who made fake IDs and educational certificates 'put lives at risk'

A Hinckley sports club steward potentially put people’s lives at risk by selling fake trade cards, licences and skills certificates. The documents offered by Andrew Weeks through Nuneaton-print.co.uk meant people could have obtained driving jobs and work in safety-conscious areas without the relevant qualifications. Weeks, 53, appeared at Warwick Crown Court[1] to plead guilty to a charge of fraudulent trading.

The prosecution was brought by the Warwickshire Trading Standards department. The charge detailed that he carried on a business for the fraudulent purpose of the manufacture and sale of counterfeit education qualification certificates, identity cards and skills certificates and licences.

Andrew Weeks

Jane Sarginson, prosecuting on behalf of Warwickshire Trading Standards, said: “This case involves fraudulent trading, carrying on a business with intent to deceive.” She explained that in October 2013 Weeks bought the domain name of Nuneaton-print.co.uk and started to trade as a printing business.

He offered a variety of certificates, all of which were counterfeit, including educational qualification certificates such as City & Guilds, O-levels, A-levels, and even PHDs.

‘It was impossible to tell the difference’

The 53-year-old also did a trade in fake student cards, but more seriously he offered work-based certificates and cards. They included CSCS cards, officially issued under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme to show that holders had the necessary health and safety training to work in certain areas of the construction industry. Weeks’ website even blatantly advertised ‘Fake CSCS cards for sale’ and ‘Buy CSCS cards online.’

Hinckley sports club steward who made fake IDs and educational certificates 'put lives at risk'The case was heard at Warwick Crown Court in Leamington Spa

He also offered fake Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) cards, forklift truck operator certificates, Powered Access Licences issued to qualified platform operators, and CCDO cards for demolition operatives.

Railway engine rolling stock certificates and gas and electricity competence certificates were also on offer, as were driving licences and even fake St John Ambulance certificates. Miss Sarginson said that in relation to the fake driving licences, a check by a police officer would quickly establish whether a person did have a genuine one.

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But she pointed out that with some of the work-based skills cards “it was impossible to tell the difference between the originals and the frauds”. When Weeks, who charged GBP15 to GBP30 for each bogus document, was first questioned, he claimed they were just joke documents in names such as Yoda and so forth.

Some of them were, but trading standards officers found evidence of him providing documents with genuine names on them.

What did the judge say?

Jailing Weeks, Judge Barry Berlin told him: “The business was simply set up to create counterfeit certificates. “That advertisement on the website makes it clear the business was set up for that purpose.” The judge pointed out that as well as referring to CSCS cards in particular, the advert boasted: “In fact we can produce any certificates or cards you want.”

Judge Berlin said: “The list included some 230 different types of counterfeit documents from 20 different authorities. “In my judgement it was likely to and was calculated to deceive.” Weeks, of the Ashby Road Sports Club in Hangmans Lane off Ashby Road in Hinckley, was jailed for three years and eight months.

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We’ve also got Facebook groups for traffic and travel[4] , crime[5] , things to do with the kids[6] , shopping[7] and homes for sale[8] .

References

  1. ^ Warwick Crown Court (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
  2. ^ Android (play.google.com)
  3. ^ Apple (iosapps.site)
  4. ^ traffic and travel (www.facebook.com)
  5. ^ crime (www.facebook.com)
  6. ^ things to do with the kids (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ shopping (www.facebook.com)
  8. ^ homes for sale (www.facebook.com)

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