The case of a dad said to have entered the UK illegally at some point in 2022 was thrown into confusion by a character reference that suggested he’d been a ‘model employee’ since 2020.

A puzzled Judge Nigel Daly asked Vasile Feier’s barrister on Wednesday (August 16): “How come he was trying to get into this country in 2022 – repeatedly?

“According to this [reference] he has been working since November 1, 2020, in the United Kingdom and showing great dedication [and] initiative.”

He added: “How did he get out of the country and back in again? What was he doing in 2022?”

The answer was not entirely clear, although it was maintained that the date in the reference from the business named in court as ‘Comex2000’ was accurate.

Judge Daly noted that the character reference from 40-year-old Feier’s boss described him as a ‘model employee’, but added: “Despite the fact he is not supposed to be working in this country at all.”

Oxford Mail: Judge Nigel DalyJudge Nigel Daly (Image: Oxford Mail)

The Romanian national was issued by the Home Office with a deportation order in 2014, after he was jailed for a fraud matter and had an earlier suspended jail sentence for fraud and knife possession activated by the judge.

Prosecuting, Emma Richards said the deportation order was in place indefinitely, preventing Feier from re-entering the country legally.

He was arrested on July 22 this year driving a grey BMW M4 in Bicester. The car already had a ‘marker’ placed on it by the police, which flagged its presence to traffic cameras.

The driver slowed down ‘dramatically’ when he realised he was being followed by the police, Ms Richards said. “When the vehicle was stopped, the defendant was observed by police to be shaking and increasingly nervous.”

Interviewed by the police, Feier claimed he had come back to the UK via the Eurotunnel with his family and had not been stopped by immigration officials, although he was vague about the dates.

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The prosecutor said: “He also made comment that he had assumed that because he had changed his name [to his wife’s surname] it would be okay to re-enter the UK.”

Home Office records suggested that he had made three unsuccessful attempts to get back to the UK in 2022. The last two attempts were made within six days of each other last September.

In mitigation, Dana Bilan said her client was ‘deeply ashamed’. He was a family man whose children were at school in the UK.

Feier, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to knowingly entering the UK in breach of a deportation order.

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Daly said: “I am sure imprisonment and deportation will have a considerable effect on your family and I regret that.

“However, I am also urged that a deterrent sentence should passed; not necessarily just to discourage you from entering this country illegally but also to discourage others from doing the same.”

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