AN ASYLUM seeker who admitted trying to open a bank account using a false passport and statement was ordered to carry out 100-hours unpaid work for the community.

Jacqueline Mugomba, 26, was caught out after staff at the HSBC at Lakeside shopping centre became suspicious when she tried to open an account using a false South African passport and bank statement in a different name.

The mother-of-one was arrested at the branch on August 29 and when she was interviewed at Grays police station she claimed she was given the identification documents by an ex-boyfriend's associate.

Mugomba, who pleaded guilty to fraud, said agreed to open the account as she owed the man £700 and he had promised to clear the debt and give her £500.

At Basildon Crown Court today (Monday) Recorder John Howell QC also sentenced the defendant to 11-months in prison, but suspended the sentence because of her young son.

Recorder Howell QC told her: "Whatever the truth it is plain you were knowingly involved in the criminal matter in the hope of gain."

This was Mugomba's second conviction for fraud. In 2004 the defendant, who lives in Gresham Road, East Ham, was jailed for 10-months for conspiracy to defraud.

Recorder Howell QC ordered the prosecution to notify the immigration authorities about Mugomba, who has been living in the UK since 1999, and her latest conviction.