No jail for gang who used fake cash in shops
9:40am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
A GANG of Londoners found with more than £1,200 in counterfeit cash after being caught spending the it in town shops have walked free from court.
Sisters Valerie and Claire Gill and male friend Aurimas Radzius all received suspended jail terms after a judge heard the women had children to care for.
Claire, 32, was also told she wouldn’t get her Vauxhall Astra back because it had been used in the crime.
The mother-of-two, her 33-year-old sister and 26-year-old Lithuanian Radzius came to Swindon from west London in February last year with a 15-year-old girl.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court Claire and Radzius went into Peacocks and Savers on The Parade, where they used dodgy £20 notes to buy items.
She said they used the large bills to buy small items so they would get the maximum ‘clean’ change.
The gang moved on to Chippenham where they continued their fraud before a shop assistant became suspicious. Miss Hingston said the worker on the till in SK Fruits thought the £20 was ‘too clean and the wrong thickness of paper’.
After checking it with a counterfeit currency pen she called the police.
“The defendants had left the scene but were sitting in a vehicle outside and were all arrested by the police,” Miss Hingston said.
Valerie, of Isleworth and Claire and Radzius, who live together at Hounslow, pleaded guilty to delivering counterfeit currency with intent.
The teenager, who is now 16 and had a child while on bail, was initially charged but prosecutors dropped the case against her when the other pleaded.
Judge Douglas Field imposed 12 month jail terms suspended for a year and told the sisters to observe night time curfews for two months and Radzius to do 130 hours of unpaid work.