A SHOPPER who targeted Monks Cross and the Vangarde Centre for a shopping spree with fake £20 notes has been jailed for 33 months.

Andrew Norman Victor Jackson, 23, used his counterfeit banknotes at John Lewis, Boots and Costa Coffee on April 5, said Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, at York Crown Court.

On each occasion, he bought items for less than £2, handed over a fake £20 note and got nearly £20 in genuine change.

But the shops quickly realised what he was doing, alerted police and Jackson was caught with yet another £20 note on him before he left the shopping complex.

He was on bail at the time for similar offences, having duped staff at Marks and Spencer in Handforth near Manchester Airport on three different days in February, and at Tesco’s, also in Handforth, on a fourth. But when he returned to the same Tesco branch, staff there recognised him and detained him.

Graham Parkin, defending, said Jackson had been taken to York by a group who had access to the fake notes.

“He was the front end of that team, the one that takes the risk and gets very little of the gain,” said the solicitor advocate.

Jailing Jackson for 33 months, Recorder Ian Harris said: “This type of offending undermines our commerce and is corrosive. It leads to the undermining of our currency. You were a volunteer not a conscript.”

Jackson, of Belmont Street, Stockport, pleaded guilty to three offences of passing counterfeit notes and one of having a counterfeit note, all committed in York and four of passing counterfeit notes and one of having a counterfeit note, all committed in Manchester.

Mr Parkin said Jackson was a vulnerable person who was easy for others to manipulate. He had learning difficulties, dyslexia and a borderline personality disorder and suffered from depression.

He had believed he had been taken to Hull when he was arrested at Monks Cross.

He had become homeless when his father was evicted in Buxton and a friend had found him accommodation with travellers in Manchester, who had involved him in the counterfeit crimes.