‘Naive’ Rugby man jailed for passing on forged money

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A Rugby man who tried to pass a forged cheque and fake £20 notes while he was on bail for drug-dealing has been jailed for three years.

Joshua Nicholson had pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to supply them and two charges of possessing cannabis.

And at Worcester Crown Court Nicholson, 21, of Lancut Hill, Rugby, who also admitted possessing counterfeit currency, pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud.

Prosecutor Kathryn Roughton said that in September last year the police were investigating an armed robbery in Rugby town centre, which had nothing to do with Nicholson.

But he was in the area, and when he saw an officer, he ran off. He was found to have £851 in cash, 14 foil wraps a class A drugs, a set of portable scales and a small amount of cannabis. Mrs Roughton said that following his arrest Nicholson was granted bail – and two weeks later he went into the Money Shop in Redditch where he tried to cash a cheque for £1,555. But his documentation made the staff suspicious, so they called the police. Granted bail again, in March Nicholson offered a barman at Fever nightclub 15 counterfeit £20 notes for £50.

Earlier in the month Nicholson had used four forged £20 notes to buy a mobile phone.

Following suggestions by judge Richard Griffith-Jones that Nicholson was a “front man” for a drugs gang, Daljit Bachada, defending, said Nicholson was “not in a position to say who they are for fear of reprisals”.

The judge told Nicholson of “characters who like to recruit naive young people”. He added: “You are a kind of cannon fodder.”