North East Wales

Illegal immigrant caught working at Wrexham prison

Artist impression of the "super prison" Image copyright Ministry of Justice

An illegal immigrant who was caught working on Wales' new super prison has been jailed for 30 weeks.

Ukrainian Volodymyr Pidodvirnyy, 37, of Manchester, admitted possessing two false Latvian driving licences as identification documents.

Mold Crown Court heard he obtained a 12-month visa to work in the UK in 2005, but stayed after it expired.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said: "The irony is that having helped to build a prison you end up as an inmate in one."

Immigration enforcement officers raided the site of the new £212m Berwyn Prison on 15 April.

Image copyright Ministry of Justice

Latvia joined the EU in 2014, so the driving licences were to be used to show Pidodvirnyy could work legally in the UK.

Prosecutor Emmalyne Downing said she had not established whether the defendant had been served with deportation documents and would leave it to the immigration authorities.

Hitesh Keshvala, defending, said his client left Ukraine because of family poverty, worked legally for 12 months at a hotel in Cumbria under a visa, but when it expired he made inquiries about extending it and was told it would be unlikely.

Conditions in Ukraine had not improved so he made a decision to remain in the UK to seek further work.

HMP Berwyn will hold 2,000 inmates when it opens in 2017.

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