TWO men have been fined for attempting to use fake £50 notes to buy goods at various Worcester city centre shops.

Patrick McCarthy pleaded guilty to three counts of passing counterfeit notes while Jonathan Maughan pleaded guilty to two counts of the same offence.

Mark Hambling, prosecuting, told magistrates Maughan, of Dormers Avenue, Southall, London, attempted to use £50 counterfeit notes to pay for goods in Debenhams and HMV on January 22 last year.

The same afternoon, the prosecutor said, McCarthy, of Stanhope Road, Greenford, Greater London, also tried to use similar £50 notes in River Island, TK Maxx and Superdrug.

Mr Hambling explained some of the shops had accepted the money and given change, while in others the notes were refused.

He told magistrates the guidelines for sentencing of the offence ranged from a fine up to a six month prison sentence.

“Because the matter is in this court you may consider a fine is suitable on this occasion,” he added.

Tariq Khan, defending McCarthy and Maughan, highlighted that the offence had been committed more than year ago so it had hung over them for a long period.

“Both have been out of trouble, they have kept their noses clean in old fashioned terms,” he added.

He said Maughan, 22, was currently out of work and was caring for his mother, while McCarthy, 19, was also not working and had caring responsibilities for a sibling.

He added as both didn’t have any previous convictions, a financial punishment was his recommendation.

After a short deliberation Gareth Thomas, chairman of the magistrates bench, said they had decided to deal with the offences with a financial penalty.

Maughan was given a fine of £120, costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £32. It was agreed Maughan would pay the total, £287, at a rate of £20 a month.

McCarthy was also fined, and told to pay the same total of £287, also at the same rate.

The case was heard at Worcester Magistrates Court on February 25.