The UK's fastest growing regional news website
27°C | 16°C
26°C | 15°C
24°C | 13°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Canterbury News Article
A Tube worker from Herne Bay smuggled two Albanians into Britain in the boot of his car.
Matthew Delderfield, 43, stashed the illegal immigrants in his Vauxhall Vectra, claiming he was given a “sob story” by a friend at London Underground, where he works as a field engineer.
But the dad-of two, of Beaumanor, came unstuck after he was stopped by immigration officials and the eastern Europeans were found hiding.
Delderfield was arrested and admitted the smuggling offence at Canterbury Crown Court.
His solicitor, Paul Hogben, said Delderfield was a “hard-working, highly skilled and honest man”, taking home £650 a week and was involved in “ensuring the safety of the London Underground and in charge of 22 men”.
He added: “He got involved after talking to an Albanian who works for London Underground.
“In effect, it appears this gentleman told Delderfield a sob story about two people from Albania who were having serious difficulties in their own country.
“Because of that he decided unwisely to help them come to this country and was driving them over to this country. He blames himself entirely and is remorseful.”
Mr Hogben said that if Delderfield was jailed he would lose the family home and his daughter would also lose her house because of the financial support he gives her.
Most defendants convicted of people smuggling are given immediate prison sentences, but Judge Nigel Van der Bijl passed a suspended sentence.
He was given an 18-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
The judge then ordered that his £6,000 car, which was seized by the UK Border Agency in December 2012, be forfeited.
“Why on earth with all your financial problems did you become involved in bringing two people into the UK?" - Judge Van der Bijl
He told Delderfield: “Why on earth with all your financial problems did you become involved in bringing two people into the UK?
“It’s a mystery, although it was obviously for money.
“But I really don’t think the public interest is best served by passing an immediate custodial sentence.”
Delderfield was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Click here for more news from Canterbury.
Click here for more news from around the county.