Jail for man who passed fake £20 notes in Devizes and Melksham (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Wiltshire CCTV picks up man who had been on the run for four years
11:00am Monday 10th February 2014 in News
A man who was involved passing counterfeit currency across the south of England and was caught after being seen on CCTV in Wiltshire has been jailed.
Daniel Franklin, 27, was part of a gang of three who were using the fake £20 notes in shops and garages in an organised scam.
Franklin, who had been on the run in Ireland for more than four years, was caught on CCTV at the time he and his associates used fake £20 notes.
Now the father of three, who was facing a 36-week suspended prison sentence for similar matters in the Midlands, is behind bars.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the gang was thought to have struck numerous times in the late summer of 2008.
He said the scam involved at least three men who would all go to the shop at the same time pretending to be strangers.
The first would try and buy a cheap item with a fake £20 and if he succeeded the others would follow suit but should he be caught out they would all leave.
Flaming Waynes burger van, which was outside Focus DIY in Hambledon Avenue, Devizes, was targeted, two fake notes being were passed by the conmen who got £4 worth of goods in exchange along with the genuine change.
The gang pulled off a similar con at the Total Garage in London Road, Devizes, changing three notes for £6 worth of goods.
Mr Meeke said they were also caught after going to the Somerfield supermarket in Andover Road, Ludgershall , and Sainsbury's in Bath Road, Melksham.
The gang also struck at Somerfield in Amesbury and in Ilminster, Somerset, where they hit three stores.
Franklin's fingerprint was found on one of the counterfeit notes and extensive police work picked the three me out on CCTV, said Mr Meeke.
The defendant was released on bail by the police but fled to Ireland, where he spent much of the intervening period in prison for other matters.
One of the other members of the gang is still on the run while the third, who played the lesser role, has been jailed for six months.
Franklin, of Tottenham, north London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to tender counterfeit currency.
Joanne Cecil, defending, said her client had lapsed back into drug use at the time of the offending.
Although he had on the run she said he was arrested at the airport having flown in from Ireland having just spent almost two years behind bars.
Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "The use of counterfeit currency was persistent, tending £20 notes.
"Your activities covered a wide geographical area over a period of 20 weeks. This was extensive offending. You, in my view, had ready access to counterfeit currency.
"All offences involving counterfeit currency are regarded with the most seriousness, you probably know that having been told it before."
He jailed him for 15 months for the latest offences in addition to the 36-week suspended sentence.