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Councillor pretended to be barrister

A Guildford borough councillor (who did not seek re-election in May) pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, and wilfully pretending to be a barrister as her trial at the Old Bailey got under way.

Monika Juneja admitted giving false qualifications to Bromley Council, and constructing false letters from the University of Greenwich and BPP Law School outlining qualifications she did not hold.

Prosecutor Kate Wilkinson said Juneja repeatedly lied about her degree and law qualifications. She said Juneja forged a letter to show she had a second class degree to get her into bar school (in fact she had a third).

At bar school she failed three course modules but forged a further document to say she was competent in law enabling her to apply for well paid jobs at Bromley, Tower Hamlets, Brighton and Hove, Buckingham and Enfield councils.

At the time of her arrest Juneja was Guildford Borough Council’s councillor in charge of planning.

Defending, Howard Godfrey QC, said Juneja had been the victim of a “witch hunt” at Guildford as she was pushing forward unpopular policies concerning the provision of hundreds of houses and removing part of the Green Belt.

He said that although she did not have the qualifications claimed, she was good at her job.

The matter came to light when constituents began looking into her background after raising a number of complaints about her work in identifying areas of land for development.


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