A well-meaning neighbour who was helping a friend with suspected dementia ended-up in court after he had been producing fake £20 notes to stop his poorly pal worrying about money.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 18 how Phillip Andrew Bland, 57, of Model Village, Creswell, had produced photocopied, fake £20 notes for his friend with suspected dementia to reassure him that there was money in his home.
Prosecuting solicitor Angela Hadfield told the court that Bland also drove his friend’s old car to get it repaired when police arrived at his friend’s home and discovered the fake cash and that Bland had been driving without insurance and an MOT.
Mrs Hadfield said: “Police went to an address in Model Village, Creswell, after being contacted about the safety of a 72-year-old man who appeared to have been suffering with dementia and police were checking he was okay.”
Police found counterfeit money in an envelope in the man’s living room, according to Mrs Hadfield, and the man said Bland looked after him and he was his best friend.
Bland told police he had been copying notes using a photocopier to reassure his friend that he had money and to put his mind at rest.
Mrs Hadfield said the defendant had also arrived at the property in his friend’s vehicle which he was not insured to drive and which had no MOT certificate.
Bland pleaded guilty to reproducing a £20 bank note and also admitted driving without insurance and without an MOT certificate after the incident on February 18.
Defence solicitor David Gittins said it was believed the vehicle was insured and it was taken to be looked at by a garage and on returning to the property the police had arrived.
Mr Gittins added that Bland has been helping his elderly friend and there had been no attempt to use any of the photocopied notes.
Mr Gittins said: “He has done it to try and give the gentleman some comfort with the best intentions but he has not realised by photocopying bank notes you are committing a crime.”
He added: “The money was likely to be thrown in the bin and the complainant was housebound and the money would never have been used.
“The vehicle was the complainant’s and it is still in his name and Mr Bland would drive him around in it on occasions but not regularly and it was that vehicle he had been taking to get improved when he was found to have no insurance and no MOT.”
Magistrates stressed there had been an element of bad luck for Mr Bland who had been helping out a friend and they expressed “great sympathy” for his situation.
However, he was ordered to pay £328 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge.
His driving licence was also endorsed with six points.
Mr Gittins added that Bland does have insurance and a licence to drive his own vehicle.