TWO men have been jailed while a woman was spared prison after they attempted to use false bank notes in order to feed their drug addiction.

Daniel Shearing, Shannon Stockwell and Robert Clements were all sentenced at Reading Crown Court for conspiracy to tender counterfeit notes.

Shearing, of Rectory Road, Hook, and Clements, of Willow Street, Reading, entered various businesses to make a small purchase, paying with counterfeit Bank of Scotland twenty pound notes in 2015 to gather genuine change.

Later that year, police stopped a car following reports that Shearing, Clements and Stockwell, had attempted to spend counterfeit notes at Chieveley services.

Officers attended the scene and arrested the trio and a search of the vehicle revealed a quantity of counterfeit Bank of Scotland twenty pound notes.

Some of these were on A4 sheets of paper waiting to be cut out.

The investigation identified a number of places where counterfeit cash had been used.

Investigating officer, detective inspector Craig Cole, of the Complex Investigations team at the West Berkshire Investigation Hub, said: “This was a rather unsophisticated counterfeit currency scam designed to fund the offenders drug habit, the notes made were not particularly good.

"However, they were good enough to be accepted by numerous businesses. I think the sentences reflected the seriousness of these offences.”

Shearing, 32, admitted to one count of conspiracy to tender counterfeit notes and one count of tendering as genuine a note knowing it was counterfeit.

He was sentenced to 36 months in prison on November 2.

Stockwell, 21, of Dene Road, Andover, was convicted after trial at Reading Crown Court after she denied one count of conspiracy to tender counterfeit notes.

She was sentenced to 15 months, suspended for two years, and was ordered to undertake a 25 day rehabilitation programme.

Clements, 45, admitted to one count of conspiracy to tender counterfeit notes.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison at Reading Crown Court on November 2.

John Bradshaw from the UK National Central Office at the National Crime Agency, said: “Counterfeit banknotes are rare and form a tiny proportion of the genuine banknotes in circulation.

“If you are in any doubt about a note this website provides links to information on the key security features of all UK issued banknotes:”