Woman’s fake £20 shop spree

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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A woman went on a spree, passing fake Scottish £20 notes at shops in Kirkham.

But Stacey Ford was brought to justice when staff at an ice cream shop, using a detection pen, spotted one bank note was a forgery and used a shop radio to contact police.

Another shop had also spotted the fake, but a court heard that Ford managed to pass seven notes in one day.

Ford, 27, of Hesketh Place, Fleetwood had pleaded guilty to one offence of possessing a counterfeit note, plus nine others of passing or attempting to pass them.

Joe Allman, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said the defendant carried out a spree on August 14 last year at a number of retail outlets in Kirkham.

In each instance, her behaviour was the same.

At seven places she was successful in passing a fake £20 Scottish note, in exchange for low value goods costing no more than £5, in order to get change.

But two of her attempts were unsuccessful.

At Silverdell, an ice cream shop in Kirkham the forgery was detected using a pen. Staff then used the shop radio to contact police.

Ford said at the shop: “Oh my God. I got it in my wages”.

When challenged about a note she tried to pass in The Outlet she claimed: “I got it in my pay packet.”

Police stopped her a short distance away. She had a false £20 note in her possession.

Julie Taylor, defending, said Ford had been receiving treatment for drug addiction.

The background to the offences was that she owed money for drugs.

“She was already massively in debt and couldn’t afford to pay it”, explained Miss Taylor.

“She was threatened and told she had to cash the notes by buying small items with them. She feared the consequences if she didn’t do that.

“She had not realised at the time what a serious position she was in”.

Ford was given 15 months prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision.