Illegal Immigrant who owned Clothing Factory Jailed

An illegal immigrant from India who rose to become the owner of a Leicester clothing factory has received a jail sentence.

Illegal Immigrant who owned Clothing Factory Jailed f

"his time the UK has come to an end."

Lakhu Odedra, aged 35, of Leicester, was jailed for two years and three months for fraud after he used forged documents to illegally stay in the UK.

Leicester Crown Court heard that Odedra had studied in the UK until 2012 when his student visa expired and he had to return to India.

But after he failed to find work in his home country, Odedra obtained a forged Portuguese passport and identity card under the name of Lakhu Patel.

In August 2016, he returned to England, settling in Leicester and working for an Indian clothing manufacturer.

Using his fake name, he obtained further documents in order to have his wife brought over from India. Since January 2019, they have had two children.

In September 2021, immigration services raided Odedra’s home and found forged documents.

Odedra’s barrister Ishan Dave said that his client had always worked hard, paid taxes and only committed the offences for a better life.

Mr Dave said: “He lived in India with his parents but he found work hard to come by.

“He took the decision to come here, not to commit offences or be a burden on the state, but to make a better life for his family.

“He came here with nothing. He worked in a legitimate job, he paid tax, paid council tax and he has not offended.”

Mr Dave explained that “extreme hard work” had seen Odedra become the owner of a clothing factory and that there was “some element of nobility” to his story.

Mr Dave added: “He knows his time the UK has come to an end. He will have to return to India to start over again.

“He is extremely scared for his wellbeing and the wellbeing of his family.”

Judge Watson said that Odedra’s story was not unusual as many people breaking immigration laws came to the UK to do honest work.

He told Odedra: “You have been a hard worker, but these types of offences are committed by those just wanting a better life for themselves.

“The courts recognise this, but also recognise that deterrent sentences are needed.”

Odedra admitted four fraud offences and one immigration offence.

Judge Watson added: “You didn’t arrive in the UK to offend or exploit the resources of this country, but these offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be passed.”

Lakhu Odedra was jailed for two years and three months.

After his release, he will be deported to India.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”