Officers are urging businesses to remain vigilant and report concerns regarding counterfeit money after a teenager admitted offences and was sentenced at Crown Court.

Joshua Roelants, 19, of Park Avenue, Windermere, was sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after admitting one count of using a false instrument with intent it would be accepted as genuine and one count of having custody or control of a false instrument with intent to use.

The court heard how Cumbria Police received reports from a concerned business owner in May 2021 and subsequent enquiries uncovered over £1,000 in counterfeit notes in Roelants’ control.

Last week (4 Jan) at Carlisle Crown Court, Roelants was given the suspended prison sentence.

He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and had costs and fines totalling more than £650. Roelants had previously plead guilty at an earlier hearing.

South Cumbria officer PC Adam Roberts of Windermere Police Station said: “Counterfeit currency is a threat to the economy and can extend to more than a simple loss of goods or services.

“Whilst some may view offences such as these minor, they can have long lasting and serious ramifications to the sustainability of businesses in our communities, many of whom are feeling the effects of the last two years. This sentence shows that the courts take a dim view of offences where currency is concerned and reiterates the value of business owners remaining vigilant when taking payment.

“The recovery of this sum has removed it from circulation and distribution locally and it will now be destroyed.

“We would continue to advise businesses to remain alert to counterfeit currency and not to hesitate in reporting the passing or attempted passing counterfeit notes or coins”.


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