Identity case man David Onamade 'believes he is who he says he is'

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

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The former partner of a man accused of stealing someone else's identity has told a court "he believes he is who he says he is".

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

His partner of 10 years told Taunton Crown Court he introduced himself as Steven Douglas when they met.

The former head of the Somerset Racial Equality Council denies the charges.

On the second day of the trial, Helen Everett, who is the mother of Mr Onamade's children, told the court they met at a nightclub in Wokingham in 1991.

'Family name'

She said he moved in with her in Bristol in 1992, and when they were packing books she found a birth certificate in a different name - David Onamade.

Start Quote

I feel sorry for him right now. He's got himself into a mess”

End Quote Helen Everett Accused's former partner

Ms Everett said he told her this was his family name, which he never used because his father tried to control him and he wanted to live independently.

She told the court the accused had borrowed money from a friend to help set up a community magazine in Bristol.

He told the friend he had not repaid the money because he and Ms Everett had been in the US, she said.

She said she had never been to the country but said the accused was convinced he had been there.

Ms Everett said on another occasion Mr Onamade told her he was attending a funeral after members of his family had died in a car crash but she later found evidence he had in fact spent the day in a library.

'Not angry'

Ms Everett said: "I feel sorry for him right now. He's got himself into a mess.

"I can't feel angry with him because he's given me two beautiful children.

"He absolutely 100% believes he is who he says he is."

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.

The prosecution claims the identity of David Onamade, and the birth certificate, in fact belong to a severely autistic man from London.

The 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 denies all the charges.

The trial continues.

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