The movie The Day of the Jackal was the inspiration for an identity scam, a court was told yesterday.

Frank Macskasy, 48, an Upper Hutt manager, scanned death notices to steal a dead baby's identity after watching the Hollywood thriller, and wanted to pull off a similar scam, the Dominion Post reported.

Appearing yesterday in Upper Hutt District Court, Mackasy admitted one fraud charge after being picked up in an Internal Affairs audit. An impersonation charge was withdrawn.

Prosecutor Neill Ford said Macskasy took the name of Graeme John Mitchell, a Lower Hutt baby who was born in May 1955 and died in November 1956, after finding his death notice.

Having watched The Day of the Jackal -- a movie in which an assassin uses death records to create false identities -- Macskasy had decided to try the same approach.

In August 1983 he applied for a New Zealand passport under the baby's name. The application was supported by a birth certificate Macskasy falsely obtained, and a photo of himself.

Internal Affairs discovered Macskasy's ruse during an audit when it found the passport details matched those of the dead baby.

Macskasy was remanded by Judge Tom Broadmore for sentencing next month.

- NZPA