A WOMAN caught using fake bank notes to fund her drinking session has been spared jail.
Krista Bukata, 20, was clocked using the counterfeit cash at the Coach and Horses pub in London Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard she paid for drinks with five Scottish £20 notes in a three-hour period.
Bukata was with a man who paid for drinks using a Scottish £20 note.
However the cash was later revealed to be counterfeit after suspicious staff called police and they were checked for authenticity.
Bukata was charged after another fake note was found in her bag.
However the man she was with was never charged as none of the fake cash was found on him.
Terence Brookes, defending, said Bukata was used by the man she was with ‘because he perceived there to be less risk in her passing the notes than him’.
Mr Brookes added: ‘This is a young lady who left school at 16, who has been on various college courses and has had short periods of unemployment since, and it’s during those short periods of unemployment that she acknowledges that boredom and perhaps having the wrong boyfriend, she started to drink too much.
‘She’s pulled herself around, perhaps due to the gravity of her situation.
‘She’s due to start work at the local hospital as a housekeeper.’
Bukata, of Dover Road, Portsmouth, admitted using six forged Scottish bank notes at the pub on June 7 last year.
She was sentenced to six months in jail suspended for a year and told to pay £80 to a fund for victims of crime and £50 in court costs.
Bukata was also ordered to pay £120 in compensation to the pub.
Addressing Bukata, Recorder Michael Hubbard, sentencing, said: ‘I have no doubt, reading between the lines, that were you not or had you not been with your ex-boyfriend this would never have occurred.
‘It doesn’t offer you any sort of defence.
‘As you have seen in court this passing (of) counterfeit notes is pretty serious, simply because it undermines the whole basis of the economy, and that’s why it is taken very seriously, but you are a young lady of 20.
‘You have no previous convictions that are of any relevance – a road traffic matter – and it would in my view be unjust to send you to prison, but I have to say that because of the seriousness of the offences a sentence of imprisonment is the only possible sentence and your solicitor has recognised that.’