A trickster from Desborough caught with dozens of counterfeit £20 notes has been jailed for 10 months.
Terry Hickinbottom, 23, used a fake note to buy two soft drinks for £1.02 from the B&M discount store in The Commons car park, Harborough, on November 8 last year.
After taking the change, he left the store with a male associate.
However, an eagle-eyed cashier realised the note did not appear genuine and the police were then notified.
At Leicester Crown Court on Wednesday last week (January 2), prosecutor Jonathan Cox said Hickinbottom was arrested shortly afterwards in the nearby Square bar.
He had with him a bag containing 40 bogus £20 notes.
Mr Cox said: “He accepted the notes were counterfeit. He told the officers he had earlier purchased £1,000 of the forgeries for £100.
“The defendant attempted to dispose of another note by concealing it in the police car as he was being taken to the police station.”
Hickinbottom, of King Street, Desborough, admitted two counts of possessing counterfeit currency with intent to pass it on.
The court heard he had previous convictions for dishonesty offences, including a house burglary, but nothing relating to forged currency.
Sentencing, Recorder Stuart Sprawson said: “You came into possession of 50 counterfeit notes, amounting to £1,000.
“It was only because sharp-eyed staff at the B&M store brought it to the attention of the police that you were caught.
“Those who come into the possession of counterfeit notes, by whatever means, undermine the whole economy of this country.
“You were responsible for four of those passing into the system.
“Only a prison sentence can be justified for those who come into possession of this type of money and those who use it as well.”
Shital Modhwadia, mitigating, said: “He informed the officer it was counterfeit and sensibly pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
“He bought the notes from an acquaintance for £100 at a time when he was in financial difficulty, when his benefits were stopped because he was temporarily of no fixed address.
“He made a foolish decision. He had nothing to do with the source of the money.”
The Recorder made an order for the destruction of the notes.