Serial forger jailed after using fake notes in book shop

John Bennett
John Bennett
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A SERIAL forger who was caught trying to pass counterfeit notes in Durham City has been jailed for more than six years.

John Bennett attempted to buy a book in Waterstone’s, in Saddler Street, but his notes were refused by a shop assistant, Durham Crown Court heard.

“She was aware of forged notes being passed elsewhere,” said Joanne Kidd, prosecuting. “She called police and Bennett was arrested in Market Place.

“A search of his home found 440 forged £20 notes, equipment for making them, and a book showing addresses of shops in towns and cities in the region.”

Bennett, 57, admitted making and possessing forged currency.

The court heard he has previous convictions for similar offences, and was released from a seven-year sentence for forgery a month before forged notes, later linked to him, were passed in shops.

Tony Davis, defending, said Bennett’s role was that of a “polisher” – someone who finishes the notes to be used.

He added: “He is a recidivist who is addicted to making forged currency.

“Others more criminally sophisticated than him track his whereabouts after release from prison and bring notes to him to be polished.

“It is his decision to do it, but it’s not easy for him to turn his back on this activity, much as he would like to.”

Judge Christopher Prince jailed Bennett, of St Peter’s Court, Sacriston, for six years and nine months.

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