Act MP David Garrett today made a statement to Parliament admitting he had created a false identity in the 1980s by applying for a passport in the name of a dead child.

A transcript of his statement follows.

Twenty-six years ago while living a very different life I foolishly undertook what I naively saw as a harmless prank. It was one that was later to have repercussions both for me personally and for others who did not deserve to be hurt by my thoughtless actions.

Using a method made known by the publication of the novel

Day of the Jackal

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I obtained the birth certificate of a child born around the time I was born but who died in infancy. I used this birth certificate to obtain a passport in that child's name.

To this day I cannot explain the rationale behind my actions except to say that I was simply curious to see whether such a thing could be done.

I never used the passport for any purpose. It duly expired having never been used and I later destroyed it.

Twenty-one years after I obtained the passport and many years after it had expired I was arrested along with a number of others following a police inquiry into passports which had been wrongfully obtained.

This inquiry followed the obtaining by Israelis believed to be connected to that country's intelligence service of a number of passports using the same method I had used.

I was duly put before the court, admitted obtaining a passport by false pretences.

After submissions by my lawyer I was discharged without conviction. The court accepted that the consequences of the conviction for this offence would have consequences out of all proportion to the offending.

I was also granted permanent name suppression.

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My reluctance to answer media questions was due to my uncertainty regarding the extent of coverage of the suppression order.

My preliminary legal advice is that for this reason neither I nor anyone else may comment further on this matter outside of the House at this time.

I am now seeking advice on whether the name suppression order can be varied or waived so that I may take media questions.

I have made many mistakes in my life, none more so than this. At the time I committed this offence I gave no thought whatsoever to effect it would have on others.

Following my arrest I wrote letters of apology to the child's relatives expressing my sincere remorse for the pain I have caused them.

The regret I feel at the hurt which I unwittingly caused the family of the deceased child is something I carry with me today and will continue to carry for the rest of my life.

I cannot wind back the clock but I sincerely wish that I could.