A CROOK who handed over dodgy dosh at a fish and chip shop was reeled in by his victim and brought to justice.

Craig Roy Osborne, 46, passed a fake £20 note at the Horseshoe Restaurant, Market Street, Kirkby Stephen, on September 14. But Carlisle Crown Court heard how Osborne was foiled after determined business owner Mark Cairns gave chase.

"The defendant bought food and drink to the value of £10.80, and paid for it using a £20 note," prosecutor Brendan Burke said.

"Staff were suspicious immediately and checked it using a device they had. This showed that it was a counterfeit note."

Mr Cairns went out looking for the culprit in his car. "He came upon the defendant and another male, he thought, looking fidgety. The defendant turned his back when he saw him - Mr Cairns - looking. He had removed his cap and some items of clothing as well," Mr Burke continued.

"He was followed by Mr Cairns to Ravenstonedale, and had been in touch with the police. The police were on the ground there, and stopped him. He initially refused to stop or give his name but then complied."

He later pleaded guilty to passing a counterfeit currency note.

Osborne, of Boggart Hill Crescent, Leeds, was said to have two previous convictions for the same crime.

In mitigation Holly Nelson told how the father-of-four was in a "much better head space" having received medication and help from mental health services for previous problems.

"He expresses through me sincere regret for what happened," Ms Nelson said of the September offence.

For that, Judge James Adkin imposed an immediate seven-month prison term.

"It seems to me that the courts must deal with this offending," said Judge Adkin."It is a serious offence. It completely undermines the usual process of legitimate transactions and it encourages crime commission."