A MAN who tried to spend counterfeit £20 notes in Dudley was rumbled because the all had the same serial number.

Lewis McGrail, aged 22, produced £420 in £20 notes in Tesco's at Burnt Tree island as he attempted to purchase an iPod but only the top note was genuine.

Nicholas Burn, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court the forged notes were in pristine condition, they were not crumpled and they all carried the same serial number.

Police officers were quickly called to the store and on their arrival McGrail produced a further £560 in counterfeit currency from his trousers.

As he jailed McGrail for 14 months, Judge Amjad Nawaz said: “These copies were so bad that staff in the store quickly realised they were not genuine.”

He said that what the electrician did "simply beggars belief" because he was in employment at the time adding: "It was clearly greed on your part."

The judge went on: "You were thoroughly dishonest, you knew the notes were counterfeit and you knew what you were doing. The message has to go out because this is offending that strikes at the very core of business dealing."

Gurdeep Garcha, for McGrail, said his client had paid £500 for £1,000 worth of forged £20 notes adding: "He believed he could get away with it.

"It was a crude attempt to mislead the shop staff. There was an element of greed because he thought he could make some easy money and he was tempted. It was a serious lack of judgement."

McGrail, of Monmouth Drive, Sutton Coldfield, admitted possessing and tendering counterfeit currency.