Somerset

Former Somerset Race Equality Council boss David Onamade 'stole identity'

David Onamade
Image caption Mr Onamade was director of the Somerset Racial Equality Council for nine years

The former head of the Somerset Racial Equality Council stole someone else's identity in a benefit fraud, a court has heard.

David Onamade, 52, is charged with fraudulently trying to claim benefits and possessing documents for use in connection with fraud.

The prosecution at Taunton Crown Court claims the identity, and his birth certificate, in fact belong to a severely autistic man from London.

Mr Onamade denies all the charges.

On the first day of the trial, the jury heard from the mother of Mr Onamade from London, who gave evidence via a video link.

She told the court she became aware that other people were trying to use her son's identity when spurious letters kept arriving in the post.

This case came to light when the Somerset Racial Equality Council closed last year and Mr Onamade, who had been its director for nine years, tried to claim Jobseeker's Allowance.

The National Insurance number he gave belonged to a David Onamade from London.

The accused faces three charges of fraudulently trying to claim benefits and two charges of possessing documents - a birth certificate and a driving licence - for use in connection with fraud.

He denies all the charges.

The trial, which is expected to last until Friday, continues.

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