A CONMAN caught using counterfeit cash to pay for lapdances at strip clubs has been jailed.
Michael Andrews was caught after handing over £120 in fake £20 notes to unsuspecting lapdancers in exchange for dances at two Portsmouth clubs.
The 21-year-old was snared after suspicions were raised among staff at Wiggle in Surrey Street, Landport, Portsmouth, when they checked £20 notes Andrews had used to pay one of the dancers and spotted discrepancies.
Andrews and a friend had left the venue, but returned later that evening – by which time the police had been called.
It was later discovered that another lapdancing club in the city – Elegance, in Granada Road, Southsea – had had problems several days earlier with counterfeit cash being handed over.
Police looked at CCTV from the premises which showed Andrews and a friend entering Elegance three days earlier where he used three fake £20 notes to pay a lapdancer for a couple of dances.
Andrews had also used two fake £20 notes to pay for taxis on the night he was caught out at Wiggle in November last year.
Police carried out a search and discovered that of £320 in £20 notes found in his friend’s bedside table at his home, two were fake.
Andrews, from Woolston Road, Havant, admitted in interview that the cash was his.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of passing counterfeit notes and one count of the possession of counterfeit notes while subject to a suspended sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Sentencing Andrews at Portsmouth Crown Court, judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You are aged 21, you have appeared before the courts on many previous occasions for offences of violence and dishonesty and you committed these offences during the currency of a suspended sentence which has not been activated.’
He added: ‘The offence of passing counterfeit notes has to be viewed seriously.
‘It is important that the public have trust in currency and confidence in it.
‘If not, of course, then the usual commercial transactions would become impossible.’
Andrews was sentenced to 12 months in jail and ordered to pay a total of £160 in compensation to his three victims and £100 in court costs.
An order was made for the fake cash to be forfeited and destroyed.