A TEENAGER caught with more than £3,000 worth of fake currency has walked free from court.

Kurtis Jaffery’s home was raided by heavily armed police officers when they were hunting for him in relation to an unconnected incident, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 19-year-old was not at home at the time but his terrified mother called him and he returned to his Middlesbrough where he was subsequently arrested.

A judge heard how a search of the property on Midhurst Road revealed the dodgy cash stashed in the defendant’s bedroom but there was no suggestion that he had attempted to use any of the money.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said his client had been gave the fake notes a couple of years earlier and thought nothing about them until his arrest.

He said: “He is before the court because of an incident completely unconnected with this matter which resulted in three very large policemen with even larger guns and crash helmets with visors – the lot – raiding his mother’s house, conducting a search which resulted in a number of items being hidden in plain sight, on top of a unit.”

Mr Constantine added that Jaffery was given the counterfeit money by a friend two years earlier and it had come as a ‘great shock’ to find himself before a Crown Court judge simply for possessing the notes.

Jaffery, of Midhurst Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeit money following the raid on June 29 last year.

Recorder Martin Rose sentenced Jaffery to 12-months in custody, suspended for two years.

He said: “The value of those notes amounted to £3,420 and because of that this case crosses the custody threshold but the question I face is whether that is immediate custody or whether I can suspend that sentence.

“I have to tell you, just, that I can suspend that sentence. I do so because you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, you are 19 and still young, and were of previous good character.”

He was also ordered to attend 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days, carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, and was made subject of a one-month electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 6am.

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