Counterfeit notes

A Forfar man who attempted to spend counterfeit £20 notes in shops throughout Angus escaped a jail sentence when he appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Gregor Murray told Ross Brown, 27, of Lordburn Place that he had narrowly escaped a custodial sentence for the offences which he previously admitted.

“I would be entitled to put you in custody for 12 months for each complaint. However, I am persuaded that there is an alternative to custody in the form of a community payback order,” said the sheriff.

“I sentence you to 240 hours of unpaid work, which is reduced from 300 hours as a result of your early plea. This has to be completed within a year. There will be a review in three months to see that you are doing each and every work party you have been asked to go on.

“If not your feet won’t touch the ground,” Sheriff Murray added.

The court heard that Brown had previously admitted passing the counterfeit Clydesdale bank notes on three occasions in January and March last year at Costcutter, Arbroath, Scotmid, Brechin and the Co-op in Arbroath. It further heard that while court action was on-going Brown committed a similar offence in Alloa which he later admitted at Alloa Sheriff Court.

Defence agent Brian Bell said his client appeared to have turned the corner and was trying to disassociate himself from negative influences.