A mother paid a man €3,500 to falsely register himself as her baby’s father during a passport application in a bid to ensure that the child could remain in the country, the Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard this week.
Roulin Lin (26 ), a Chinese national, with an address given as 4 the Stables, College Road, Galway, and Graham Hopkins (34 ) with an address at 7 Castlepark, Ballybane, Galway, appeared before Judge Raymond Groarke on Tuesday for arraignment.
They both pleaded guilty to a count of giving a registrar false particulars or information which they knew to be false or misleading, contrary to Section 69(3 ) of the Civil Registration Act 2004, and to a count of providing information or documents that were and that they knew or believed to be or were reckless as to whether they were false or misleading in a material respect in connection with the application for the issue of a passport, contrary to Section 20(1 ) of the Passports Act 2008, at the Civil Registration Service, Galway, on April 20, 2009.
Hopkins’ defence barrister, Aisling Ball BL, made an application for an adjournment in order for the preparation of a probation report. A similar application was made by Lin’s barrister, John O’Donnell BL, who further explained that his client had been pregnant and had wanted the child to be able to reside in Ireland. She then approached Hopkins and offered to pay him €3,500 to put his name down as the child’s father on the certificate so that a passport could be obtained. Mr O’Donnell said that Lin came to Ireland in 2004 as a student and had worked in various hotels.
Ms Ball said that Hopkins’ motivation had not been entirely financial and it would come out in the probation report which could be needed for the purpose of sentencing to show his co-operation.
Judge Groarke replied that he would not rule on the application for the moment but that if in the course of the sentencing hearing a probation report is needed the application could be renewed. The case was then adjourned to May 19.