Monica Sengu, 46, of Harvest Mead, who was a nurse at the hospital in Stevenage, lied about her qualifications so she could be trained by the NHS.

Sengu, who came to the UK as an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe, received nearly £59,000 of training and bursaries.

St Albans Crown Court heard the minimum requirement to train was five O-Levels or GCSEs.

Sengu sat seven O-Levels in Zimbabwe, but had only four passes.

Instead of obtaining an NVQ, which would have allowed her to train, she took a shortcut by handing in fake documents.




One, which contained four spelling mistakes, stated incorrectly that she had an A grade in English Language.

When investigated, she produced a second fake document.

Yesterday (May 16) Sengu appeared for sentencing, having been convicted by a jury of fraud.

She was sentenced to 20 months in jail, suspended for two years and must also carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Prosecutor Neil King said Sengu was of previous good character.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is now likely to permanently remove her registration as a nurse.

The court heard the mother-of-two came to the UK in 2001 seeking asylum as she was a member of the opposition movement for democratic change.

She then obtained British citizenship.

Defending, Edward McKiernan said she had been suspended since her arrest and was working in the care industry, earning £600 to £800 a month.

He said: “The case is wholly regrettable. She had the desire to be a nurse.

“She was performing well in the role. It is with great sadness that she will be struck off the register.”

Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “You aspired to earn your living as a nurse.

“You allowed yourself to become embroiled in a crude and unsophisticated attempt to defraud the NHS.

“Had you gone through the proper channels and obtained an NVQ, it may have taken you longer.

“Somebody as committed as you would have got there in the end. You tried to shortcut the process.”

Referring to spelling mistakes on her exam certificates, the judge said: “The alarm bells should have been ringing at an early stage.”- www.whtimes.co.uk



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