A NURSE who tried to smuggle a Nigerian baby into the UK with her husband is facing being struck off.

Barton couple Gladys Effa-Heap and Dr Simon Heap were each handed 12-month suspended jail terms and told to do unpaid community work last year, after admitting to facilitating a breach of the immigration law.

The couple, of Waynflete Road, had pretended Effa-Heap had given birth unexpectedly after arriving for a holiday in the West African country in July 2010.

But DNA tests proved the child was not biologically related to the couple, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard yesterday.

Now Effa-Heap is facing losing her career following the incident.

Jessica Holmes, for the NMC, told the hearing Effa-Heap told Islington Crown Court she had been struck off already, meaning the judge was more lenient with her when sentencing, but that was a false statement.

She said: “It was quite wrong of the registrant to have represented to the Crown Court judge that she had been struck off in April when in fact she had not even been referred to the NMC until June.”

Effa-Heap, who is not attending the tribunal in central London, has denied her fitness to practice is impaired. But she said she was a ‘nurse at heart’ in a letter to the NMC.

The hearing continues.