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Suspended sentence for woman who forged documents in bid to become architect

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A woman has been handed a 15-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to do 130 hours of community work after she fraudulently attempted to register as an architect

Leopoldine Van Daalen was found guilty of four offences under the Fraud Act 2006 by Southwark Crown Court last month after submitting falsified documents to the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

The court in south London heard that Van Daalen, 41, who lives in Islington, submitted a false degree certificate in July 2015, along with other fake documents in a bid to join the register.

According to Court News UK, Van Daalen claimed she had obtained her Part 1 from the University of East London (UEL) in July 2012 and had provided the ARB with a copy of the certificate along with a reference claiming to be from Allies and Morrison, together with other documents bearing the practice’s name.

At the sentencing hearing the Judge, Mr Recorder Weatherill QC said: ’These sort of cases are not brought lightly. They are brought because there is a public interest in maintaining high standards of professional qualification and protecting the public from those who pretend to be qualified. It is a serious matter to set out to deceive ARB and UCAS that you are on the way to qualifying when you are not. If ARB had not been vigilant you would have got further along the way.

‘If you had, the sentence would have been more serious and less merciful than it has been. I have been influenced not to make an immediate sentence of custody because it seems you have been embroiled in a passion to become an architect that has led you to be delusional about your prospects of becoming one or of the quality of the examinations you had passed.’

’You’ve been embroiled in a passion to become an architect that has led you to be delusional about your prospects of becoming one’

He added: ’In no way, shape or form were you entitled to sit the course at UEL or to apply for the Part 2 qualifications because you did not hold the requisite qualifications necessary. Nobody can know what prompted your criminal conduct.

’I am satisfied it was nipped in the bud so as little damage was actually done to the public views as to architects’ qualifications was done as was possible. Do not re-offend or you will be brought back to this Court and re-sentenced.’

The prosecution was instigated by the ARB, whose chief executive Karen Holmes said: ‘We were very pleased with the outcome in terms of the guilty verdicts and the sentence because it does demonstrate the seriousness of the offence.

’It is in the public interest that we carefully verify applications for registration in order to maintain an accurate register and this incidence demonstrates the importance of our robust processes.’

Speaking about the earlier verdict, Holmes had said: ‘Members of the public should be confident when they engage with someone who is on the register that they are qualified and competent to use the title “architect”.

‘We see an attempt to enter the register fraudulently as a calculated attempt to exploit the confidence that the public have in the title architect, and will take legal action where necessary.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • So some people think it still worthwhile to become ARB registered.
    And she didn't even need to sit Part 3, which many find the hardest part.

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