A MASTERS degree student who was caught trying to spend fake £20 notes at a Tesco store has been jailed for 18 months.
A court heard Ahmad Tokan had thrown away future careers as a pilot and in engineering as a result of his offending.
Tokan – a qualified pilot who also works for the ambulance service – was arrested after he tried to buy cigarettes with a forged £20 note at the Tesco Metro store, on Boar Lane, in Leeds city centre on July 24 last year.
A member of staff spotted that it was a fake note and a police community support officer was alerted.
Tokan, 28, of Iveson Approach, Ireland Wood, Leeds, was searched and found in possession of a further five £20 notes. His home was then searched and another 15 notes were discovered in a wardrobe.
Tokan denied any offending but was found guilty of tendering a counterfeit note and having control of counterfeit notes after a trial.
Jailing Tokan, Recorder Richard Wright, QC, said: “You are a qualified pilot and do good work for the ambulance service and you are due to begin a masters degree. It is staggering that in those circumstances you allowed yourself to be tempted by greed to behave in the way you did.
“In many ways the fact that you are an intelligent, able and articulate man aggravates your position because it means you knew exactly what you were doing.
“You have shown no remorse or acceptance of what you did being wrong.
“Offending of this type does indeed strike at the heart of the British economy – it undermines the economy of this country. It is therefore serious offending and it is my duty to reflect that seriousness and deter others from offending in this way.”