One man was a cricket coach in India who hid his identity so he could stay in Britain. He was discovered only after the man went to collect his Covid jab.

Harshil Patel (aged 30) was married to Melvin Dias, and got bank cards as well as a driving license.

Patel was found to have overstayed his visa seven years prior to stealing Mr Dias’s information.

The ‘talented cricketer’, who arrived in Britain 12 years ago on a student visa, which was valid until 2012, made £23,000 working for Tesco and Ladbrokes in his victim’s name over the 20-month period in which he had his identity.

Patel was caught after Mr Dias attempted to book a coronavirus vaccination in May. But he was told that the vaccine had been given to someone else.

After inheriting funds from his family’s Gujarat home, India in 2019, Patel, a court heard, decided to try and “regularise” his immigration status.

Harshil Patel (pictured), 30, got married and obtained bank cards and a driving licence in the name of his wholly innocent victim Melvin Dias

Harshil (pictured), 30 years old, got married to Melvin Dias and obtained bank accounts and a driving license.

It was claimed he may have paid up to £65,000 for the false papers.

He was an electrical engineer and computer science graduate who had previously been a coach for cricket.

The victim, Mr Dias (31), arrived in Britain four years ago from Goa, India. However, he was allowed leave to remain as his wife, who is Portuguese, is also here.

In August 2013, he became concerned when he tried to apply for a Portuguese citizenship card. However, he was refused as one was in use.

After struggling to get a jab, he was forced to send his papers to Portugal.

On learning this, Patel approached him in his Hounslow, West London home. At first, Patel claimed that Patel was lying. The defendant then said that Patel was his victim.

The fraud caused Mr Dias depression as he could not get Universal Credit for 6 months after proving his identity.

According to him, ‘I kept myself locked in my bedroom and avoided everyone because I was so stressed. I didn’t think I’d ever be able get a job or have enough income. 

Harshil Patel was jailed for three years at Isleworth Crown Court (pictured) after admitting to fraud by false representation and using false identity documents

Harshil Patel, a fraud victim who admitted to using false identification documents and false representations in order to commit fraud at Isleworth Crown Court was sentenced to three years imprisonment (pictured).

Patel, who was not convicted of any previous offenses, confessed to fraud by false representation, and using false identity papers when he presented at Isleworth Crown Court. 

James O’Connell was the prosecutor. He stated that Melvin Dias (31-year-old) arrived from India to the UK in 2017. In 2017, he received leave to stay in 2017, as a result of his marriage to a Portuguese woman. Both Portugal and Britain are EU members.

“In August 2020, he applied to get a Portuguese citizenship card. He was denied because a card was already issued and in use. 

“Then, in May 2021, he applied through the NHS for a coronavirus vaccination. It was at this point that it became apparent that he had been a victim of identity fraud. 

“He sought help from his GP and soon discovered that the defendant was the one using the documents.  

Sunjay Versani stated in mitigation that he was very regretful, and had a lot compassion for his victim. 

“He was born in Gujarat to humble circumstances and dreamt of being a professional cricketer.

“He arrived in the UK to study computer science and engineering, but was unable to find work or finance his education.

Patel was jailed for three years by Recorder Simon Russell Flint QC. He said to Patel: ‘I hope that this case exposes identity theft as it is serious crime. You told the probation service you were prepared to pay £65,000 to obtain the identity.

You bought the identity of another man and made a life for yourself. His name was used to apply for employment, and it was his name that you married.

“This was sophisticated infraction for financial gain. However, the true impact was the suffering caused by your victim.