Former Calderdale councillor Chaudry Mohammad Saghir convicted of giving unqualified immigration advice

A former Calderdale councillor has been convicted for a second time over giving unqualified immigration advice.

Chaudry Mohammad Saghir was jailed for 12 months back in November 2005 after admitting 15 counts of providing unqualified immigration services.

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The 73-year-old, of Gibbet Street, Halifax, was before the courts again yesterday as he was sentenced for a further five offences.

Sahgir had admitted the charges of providing unqualified immigration advice and services during an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

The court heard how the offences took place between 5 April, 2008 and 31 December, 2016 at Law Chamber Kashmir Foundation, an unregulated organisation established by Saghir.

It heard Saghir had accompanied an appellant to a hearing at Bradford Immigration and Asylum Chamber on September 16, 2016.

A member of tribunal staff there knew he was unqualified and challenged Saghir, who left the building.

This incident was referred to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner and an investigation began.

During yesterday's hearing at Leeds Crown Court, Saghir was handed a 13 month jail term suspended for two years.

He was also made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 7pm and 7am daily for six months.

His Honour Judge Gordon told Saghir: "These are serious matters. You have been previously convicted of 41 offences on nine occasions and in November 2005 you were convicted at Bradford Crown Court of 15 offences contrary to Section 91 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, precisely the same as the offences for which you are being sentenced today.

"You knew what you were doing, it was deliberate conduct.”

Speaking after the sentencing, deputy immigration services commissioner Dr Ian Leigh said: “This is not a technical or victimless crime.

"Chaudry Mohammad Saghir was advising vulnerable people who could not handle their immigration cases on their own. They trusted him and he betrayed that trust.

"I am delighted with the outcome in this case.”