A desperate man claimed he was forced at gunpoint to cash fraudulent cheques in Chesterfield as part of a scam.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard, on Monday, how Joshua Buckham, 21, was threatened with a gun by a man before taking the cheques into pawnbroker CB Chesterfield and Stuart Bradley Jeweller’s in the town.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said Buckham claimed to be working for SS Great Britain and presented the cheques in their name to the stores in exchange for £894.67 from CB Chesterfield and £915.28 from Stuart Bradley’s. Mrs Allsop said: “Buckham went into stores with cheques and gained cash.”
The court heard Buckham underwent credit checks before the cash was handed over and police used this information to trace him.
He told police he had lost his job and accommodation and was introduced to a man who drove him to Chesterfield and forced him at gunpoint to pass bad cheques. He claimed he handed over the cash to those in the car and never made a penny.
Buckham, of Talbot Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud after the offences in June. Magistrates sentenced him to a 12 month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work and he must pay £1,400 compensation.