- Somalia-born Hana Abdi Qahtan tried to pass off a 16-year-old Yemeni as her son
- She had another UK passport for an older woman hidden in her hijab at Heathrow
- Part-time carer's two relatives have now received full asylum to remain in the UK
- Judge gives suspended sentence and talks of her 'humanitarian desire to assist'
A refugee who abused her and her family's new British passports to bring in two illegal migrants has been praised for her 'humanitarian desire' by a judge.
Somalia-born Hana Abdi Qahtan, 46, tried to pass off a 16-year-old Yemeni as her son at London Heathrow Airport and had another UK passport for an older woman hidden in her hijab.
She had flown to Bahrain on her UK passport, also bringing her son's and mother's with her to be illegally used by two distant relatives to enter Britain.
The part-time carer, who lives in Manor Park, East London, applied for asylum in 2006 and became a British citizen in 2013, also getting passports for her mother and many children.
Her two relatives, who travelled on the bogus passports, have now received full asylum to remain in the UK.
She pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court in London to one count of facilitating a breach of immigration on September 10 last year and received seven months of imprisonment, which was suspended for 12 months. The maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment.
Judge Sarah Paneth told her: 'You gave your son's passport to Mohammed Nouman, a citizen of Yemen, in an attempt to allow him to enter the country.
'A second count relating to your mother's passport, which was to be used to help another foreign national is to lie on the file.
'The offence is a serious offence. It is an offence that attracts deterrent sentences, long sentences, and most are dealt with in that way.
'Your aunt was the mother of a sixteen year-old Yemeni boy and was concerned about his welfare in Yemen and those concerns are borne out by the fact he received asylum in the UK.
'That sets out your humanitarian desire to assist him to come to this country.
'Tragically your own daughter had been killed in Yemen during a period you sought asylum for all your children, so you had empathy with your aunt.
'This offence was not of direct emotional benefit to you. This was not a particularly close family member.
'It was not of any financial benefit to you, in fact it was a financial loss because you paid for the flights from your modest earnings in the UK.'
First-time offender Qahtan was forced to leave Saudi Arabia when her husband died and ended up in Yemen, from where she obtained asylum to the UK.
Despite needing a court-funded Arabic interpreter throughout Judge Paneth added: 'What is very impressive is your education and employment.
'You came to this country as an asylum seeker and immediately enrolled in a way to enhance your contribution to this country, gaining qualifications in English, Health and Social Care.'
Qahtan is also a volunteer, but this is limited to her fellow Somalians.
'You apply some of your precious time as a woman with several children still at home, ranging for the age of twelve years-old, with absolute devotion to help disadvantaged members of the Somali community.
'I accept you have shown genuine remorse,' added the judge, who also read out a reference from the woman Qahtan cares for.
'She says that when she awakes from sleep she finds that you are still there, even though your shift ended over an hour before, to make sure she is OK and has everything for the night.
'She says it is a part of your character to go out of your way in the call of duty to help others and hopes this aspect of your character shines through to anyone assessing your character.'
Qahtan is currently receiving NHS treatment for sciatica and depression. 'You have health problems that have limited your ability to work, but not extinguished it,' added Judge Paneth.
'Your daughter is in Saudi Arabia and has deep vein thrombosis, something you have also suffered with, and is unable to travel and you are greatly concerned about her.
'This is, in my judgement, an exceptional case and is appropriate to be marked with a custodial sentence, but suspended to allow you to do unpaid light work in service to the community.'
Qahtan was ordered to perform 100 hours community service work and the judge concluded: 'You fall very, very far from the sort of person who is a people smuggler and I have no doubt you will not be in court again.'
Prosecutor Ben Holt told the court it was 7.00am when the Yemini teen presented himself to immigration officers with Qahtan's son's passport.
'The image in the passport did not match the individual and he gestured to the defendant and said she was his mother.'
The story quickly fell apart and the youth said his mother was living in Birmingham.
An older woman, Amaina Thaqbi, was in the queue. 'She did not have a passport on her, but this defendant was able to produce a British passport from under her hijab.
'The prosecution's case is that this passport was going to be handed to the woman to gain access to the country, it was the defendant's mother's passport.'
Qahtan's lawyer Tim Nutley told the court: 'She is in poor health, is a mother to teenage children and has an elderly mother. She is a useful and respected member of society.
'When approached by the mother of Mohammed Nouman she felt a great deal of empathy for her plight and for the boy, who was still out there. She is motivated by humanitarian concerns and is a highly-regarded member of her community.
'She has sought to integrate herself into society and educated herself to achieve the position she is in now. Ultimately no harm was done. Both these individuals obtained asylum in this country. It did not harm society.'