A BRITISH identity thief was beginning a jail sentence today after spending 22 years pretending to be a woman of a different race.
The fraudster, who had been living in Britain under the name Carol Anne Keast, was caught after a trip to Spain when officials noticed that while she was black, the picture on her passport was of a white woman, the Manchester Evening News reported.
An inquiry showed that the bogus “Keast,” from Manchester, in northern England, had been living a lie since 1989, while the real Carol Anne Keast, who lives in central England, was unaware of the scam.
The woman, who refused to confirm her identity, was jailed yesterday for nine months at Minshull Street Crown Court for fraudulent use of a passport.
The court heard that the identity thief was caught at Manchester Airport on Nov. 7 as she returned from a vacation in Marbella with her partner, TV movie producer Tom Henderson – who was unaware of her deception.
Sarah Johnston, defending, said that medical tests showed her client to be displaying symptoms of depression and mental health “fragilities.”
The real Carol Anne Keast – who since 1982 has lived under her married name, Carol Anne Payton – realized something was wrong when she tried to renew her passport.
“I had to go for an interview and prove who I was,” she said. “It is a bit silly, really, because mine is a very unusual name, and she is apparently about 20 years younger than me. She is of African appearance, and I am not. Neither are any of my family.”