Using a forged Mexican passport to return to Canada only a month after being deported has landed a Colombian man a 12-month jail term.
Provincial court Judge Peter Barley on Monday said that while Leonardo Navarro Perez pleaded guilty, he also tried to lie his way out of charges in the first place.
Navarro Perez, 37, pleaded guilty last month to charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code in connection with his second illegal entry into Canada.
Navarro Perez was arrested last Dec. 17 at the Calgary International Airport using a phony Mexican passport only a month after he was deported after being arrested in Ontario for entering the country on a different forged document.
Crown prosecutor Lori Ibrus had sought an 18-month jail term citing a prior case where such a sentence was handed down for someone making multiple illegal entries into Canada.
But Barley said that individual had breached Canada’s immigration laws on six different occasions.
Defence lawyer Ben Leung had sought a six-month term, saying Navarro Perez only came to Canada to be with his girlfriend.
At Navarro Perez’s Feb. 28 sentencing hearing, the Colombian national said he meant no harm to anyone by breaching Canadian laws.
“I would like you to put yourself in my shoes, or to try to understand,” he told Barley through a Spanish interpreter.
“I didn’t have any intention to hurt anyone in Canada, I just wanted to be in a better place.”
With credit for remand time, Navarro Perez will have to serve another 255 days before he is deported once again.