Southwark Crown Court heard that Mirwais Patang, an unqualified and unregistered Dari and Pashto interpreter employed by Capita Translation and Interpreting, was allowed to earn £65,000 by interpreting in 140 court cases between March 2012 and August 2016.

He was able to pass himself off as a qualified interpreter by falsifying a community interpreting certificate, which enabled him to work as a “Tier 3” interpreter. In addition, he stole the identity of a genuine interpreter with “Tier 1” status, which enabled him to take more lucrative interpreting assignments.

One of the assignments allocated to him was the Aylesbury child sexual abuse trial at the Central Criminal Court, at which he was paid to interpret for defendant Taimoor Khan. However, instead of attending in person, he passed the work on to another unqualified individual, Solimann David, who actually interpreted for the defendant.

At trial, Patang pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and forgery, and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. In addition, he must complete 300 hours of unpaid work.

The court also heard that the Crown Prosecution Service is disclosing details of Patang’s deception to legal teams in the cases he worked on, raising the possibility of multiple appeals.

Mike Orlov, Executive Director and Registrar of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters, said, “It comes as no surprise to NRPSI this has occurred given the decline in standards of court interpreting that has been promoted by changes in how court interpreters are sourced by the justice sector.”

Alan Thompson, APCI Chairman, said, “It has long been our policy that only qualified, experienced, vetted and registered interpreters should be used in criminal proceedings. We also reject the artificial distinction between “Tier 1”, “Tier 2” and “Tier 3″ interpreters. Either an interpreter is competent to practise, or they are not, it’s as simple as that.”

For the full story, see the Independent article: Fake court interpreter earned £65,500 from 140 cases including grooming gang trial | The Independent

15.02.21