Fine for Dagenham mum who forged daughter’s school application
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
A Dagenham mum-of-two is one of the first to be prosecuted for “education tourism” after she forged documents to get her daughter into a Havering school.
Lura Pacheco, 34, of Whalebone Lane South was fined £500, a £60 victim surcharge and sentenced to 100 hours community service after she faked a tenancy agreement.
On Friday, September 19, Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard how she committed the forgery in an attempt to persuade high-performing schools in Havering she lived in their catchment area.
It was found the tenancy agreement sent by Pacheco was created by a fake estate agency and financial checks showed no link to the Hornchurch property where she claimed to live.
Councillor Damian White, deputy leader of Havering council, said: “Creating false documents, no matter what the reason, is fraud, and ultimately takes away places from those that were entitled to them.”
The mum-of-two, who works for an international recruitment company, was caught out when the real owner of the property received an offer letter from the school.
She was subsequently charged with forgery.
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The Portuguese national committed the offence on December 13, 2013, and if successful could have secured her daughter a place at either Bower Park Academy, Brittons Academy, Chafford School, Frances Bardsley School for Girls or Sacred Heart of Mary Girls School.
Fraudulent tactics such as lying about siblings and impersonating family members have been employed in the past by parents trying to cheat the system to get their children into certain schools.
However Pacheco is one of the first to be brought to court for the offence in the UK.
Councils demand strict proofs of residence in an attempt to minimise the risk of possible scams.