A chef who denied knowingly using two fake £20 notes to pay for items has been found guilty by a jury.

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Alan Bennington claimed during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court that on both occasions he had been given the £20 notes by a friend and had used one of them to buy cigarettes at a Co-op store in Brantham and the other to buy a tuna roll at a shop called Crumbs in Lowestoft several weeks later.

“Nothing made me suspicious and nothing crossed my mind that there was anything wrong with them,” said Bennington.

The 29-year-old, of Brook Street, Manningtree, had denied two offences of tendering counterfeit £20 notes on April 18 and May 17, 2012 but was found guilty by a jury. Sentence was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that when Bennington handed over one of the notes at the Co-op store in Brantham the sales assistant had noticed fairly quickly after handling the note that there was something wrong with it.

He had not been able to check the note was genuine while Bennington was in the shop but had checked it shortly afterwards and realising there was something wrong with it had reported it to his manager.

Several weeks later on May 17 Bennington had gone into a sandwich shop called Crumbs in Lowestoft and had used a £20 note to pay for a tuna roll. After Bennington left the shop the owner realised it was not genuine and when he saw Bennington getting into a car near the shop he had made a note of the number plate.

Bennington told the court he had met a man while working as a chef and claimed he had been given both the fake £20 notes by him.

He said on the first occasion he had asked to borrow some money from the man to buy cigarettes from the Co-op in Brantham and had been given a £20 note. On the second occasion the man had asked him to get him a tuna roll from the sandwich shop in Lowestoft and had given him a £20 note to pay for it.

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