A woman has been jailed for six months for fraud offences.

Mary Celestine, 53, who is also known as Mary Calestine Balyrugulu of Waylen Street in Reading, was sentenced on Wednesday, January 1.

She pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing identity documents with improper intention.

As well as her sentence, she was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.

Celestine entered the UK in 2005 on a visitor visa. When this expired, she continued to reside in the country and obtained a false French passport.

She applied to remain in the UK through asylum, which was denied by the Home Office. Despite this, she continued to work in the UK, using the false passport as proof of her identity and right to work in the country.

This allowed her to obtain enhanced DBS certificates and therefore employment, as a support worker with vulnerable people for four different companies between 2015 and 2017.

An investigation took place in 2018 when she attempted to make a new DBS application to renew her employment, where it was identified that the passport was fraudulent.

She was charged on November 21, 2018.

Investigating officer, detective constable Tara Hamilton, of the Complex Investigation Team based at Newbury police station, said: “These offences took place over a prolonged period of time, and all the roles Celestine took on involved working with vulnerable people who put their trust in her to look after them.

“Her intentions may have been to work, however she had no legal right to remain in the UK, therefore putting those people at risk.”