Following a seven – day trial at Burnley Crown Court, Kim Tran a court-appointed translator, was convicted of conspiring to produce a forged birth certificate which was handed to HHJ Beverley Lunt at a hearing at Preston Crown Court in April 2018.
Neil Usher, prosecuting, told the jury that Ms Tran had conspired with three Vietnamese nationals to produce a forged birth certificate purportedly showing that a defendant in a £1m cannabis cultivation case was a child and should thus be released from HMP Styal. Cell site analysis, intercepted prison phone calls and copies of the forged birth certificates found on the defendant’s computer showed that the interpreter was instrumental in attempting to deceive HHJ Lunt into releasing the adult defendant from prison.
The defendant claimed during the trial that she had been given the forged birth certificates by an unknown Vietnamese person who approached her in the street minutes after the Magistrate’s Court hearing in which the alleged child defendant was remanded to the adult prison.
In fact, subsequent analysis of the defendant’s computer show that she could not have been in possession of the forged birth certificates at the time she said she was given them. The defendant was responsible for translating the forged birth certificates and handing them to the co-conspirators’ solicitor advocate, who told Judge Lunt that his client was 16.
Judge Lunt directed that the certificates be seized and examined. They were quickly found to be forgeries.
Ms Tran will be sentenced in October.
Neil Usher was instructed by Lucy Scully at the Complex Crime Unit at the CPS.
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