AN IDEA for unusual wallpaper resulted in a Scarborough man appearing before a crown court.
Stephen Lee’s idea was to photocopy or scan bank notes into A4 sheets of paper ready for applying to his walls, but York Crown Court was told that copying the currency constituted an offence of counterfeiting.
As a result, 45-year-old Lee, of South Street, found himself being sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge after pleading guilty to making counterfeit £5, £10 and £20 notes between January and December 2009.
Nicholas Barker, prosecuting, told how, as a result of other enquiries, police called at an address in King Street, Scarborough, and were handed a bag containing copies of notes by the occupier.
As a result a search was mounted at Lee’s home when further notes were recovered and he was interviewed, claiming that the crude copies were meant both as wallpaper and to decorate a coffee table top.
The court heard that many of the copies were in black and white, on A4 sheets and depicting only one side of each note.
Ruth Cranidge, mitigating, who told the court that her client was on income support, said she had nothing further to add after The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst voiced his sentencing intentions.
The judge told Lee that normally anyone producing counterfeit currency could expect an immediate custodial sentence, but he recognised that in this case, partly due to the crudity of the copies, there was never any intention to pass them into public circulation.