A CLUMSY crook caught as he tried to used a bogus bank note at a Carlisle supermarket till has been handed a lengthy jail term.
Jamie O’Brien, a Lancashire-based convicted thief and fraudster, already had a string of previous counterfeit currency crimes to his name by the time he visited the ASDA store at Kingstown on February 13.
O’Brien, 31, tried to distract a cashier, who was then immediately suspicious because a Bank of Ireland £50 note he gave her “felt like photograph paper”. This was checked by staff in store, and found to be devoid of security features, including ultra-violent and water marks.
When detained by police outside the store before being taken into custody, O’Brien asked an officer: “How much time will I get for this?”
At Carlisle Crown Court, he admitted passing a counterfeit note, and also possessing five fake Scottish fifties in Chester during November, 2018. The court heard he also had two previous convictions for fake note offending – one committed in Penrith during 2016 – and had received prison sentences on both those occasions.
Sean Harkin, defending O’Brien, of Viking Street, Bolton, conceded: “Nobody was fooled by the defendant’s fairly clumsy attempt to pass off counterfeit notes as genuine.”
Jailing O’Brien for a total of two years, Judge Nicholas Barker said: “The passing of counterfeit notes is a very serious matter, and will only be met by custodial sentences.
“The whole of our social and economic life would simply fall apart if our system was awash with people presenting counterfeit money in this way.”