.05

Criminal Proceedings in England

 

In March 2013, I was detained by border guards at London Gatwick airport, having arrived on a flight from Spain. I was accused of using documents issued in the name of another person.

During 2010-2013, my wife was undergoing intensive treatment for a serious cancer illness. Part of the treatment took place outside of UK, as recommended by her doctors. This was a very difficult time for our family. Trying to support my wife so far as I could, I decided to temporarily leave the UK together with her. Since I was on the Interpol red notice list, any journey outside of the UK posed a risk that I could be instantly arrested and deported to Russia as soon as I crossed the border of another country. Therefore, I used travel documents issued in the name of another person. This was, of course, a major mistake on my part.

I admitted my fault in the Crown Court of Lewes, UK, and explained the reasons that influenced me to take such a desperate step. In May 2013, I received a fairly mild one and a half years’ suspended sentence. This was one of the exceptional cases in the UK law when a real prison term was not applied to a sentence in respect of using false travel documents. However, considering our specific circumstances at the time, it was not too surprising.