Two Armagh men have been sentenced after appearing in court on charges relating to the possession and tendering of counterfeit currency.
It was heard, that during searches police located A4 pages printed with Bank of Ireland £20 notes in one defendant’s home and a bag containing a number of counterfeit Bank of England £50 notes at the other’s property.
Stephen Lawrence Maughan, 29, and Owen Maughan, 38, both of Callanbridge Park, appeared for sentencing on possessing counterfeit currency and two counts of tendering counterfeit currency at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Owen Maughan, who appeared via videoink from Maghaberry, also faced a further charge of tendering counterfeit currency.
Prosecution outlined that at 7pm on March 14, 2019, police attended the O2 store in the Mall Shopping Centre, Armagh, after a report of counterfeit currency being tendered by a male.
The following day, police received further allegations from city centre stores of similar incidents.
Following inquiries, Stephen Maughan was arrested and a search of his home was conducted. During this officers located numerous A4 pages printed with Bank of Ireland £20 notes.
On March 16, Owen Maughan was also arrested after he was identified on CCTV footage by a constable.
During a search of this defendant’s home, police seized a number of counterfeit Bank of England £50 notes which were found in a bag.
Representing Stephen Maughan, defence barrister Richard McConkey informed court that his client had in the interim been dealt with by way of a suspended sentence in January.
He outlined that this defendant had been deemed “unfit” for work and submitted “any community service disposal is unlikely to get off the ground”.
Meanwhile, Owen Maughan’s representative, defence barrister Kevin O’Hare, stated: “This wasn’t a particularly sophisticated enterprise…..they were both caught.
“In the presentence report, Mr Owen Maughan opens up about his alcohol and drug issues. He carried out these misdemeanors in order to fund this.”
Noting that Owen Maughen consented to a combination order, Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer sentenced the defendant to 50 hours community service and 12 months probation.
He commented that this defendant had only two previous entries on his record, compared to his co-accused’s 101.
Sentencing Stephen Maughan, the deputy district judge stated: “You have been deemed unsuitable to work. I don’t know how given that employers make all sorts of adjustments for all disabilities.
“Counsel has asked that I take the same stance as in January. I am not sure how given that your co-accused is going to have to give back to community for his offence by giving 50 hours of his time to unpaid work.”
Stephen Maughan was ordered to pay a fine of £550, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within six months.