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Former Norwich City trainee goalkeeper admits handling more than £2,500 in fake bank notes

PUBLISHED: 12:41 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:45 14 May 2018

.The Scales of Justice on top of the Old Bailey, London. PA library photo.

.The Scales of Justice on top of the Old Bailey, London. PA library photo.

A former Norwich City trainee goalkeeper who was rejected for being too short has admitted handling more than £2,500 in counterfeit bank notes, a court has heard.

Joshua Macann, now 24, spiralled in to debt after his dream of being a professional footballer came to an end at the age of 17 because he was not tall enough.

Lincoln Crown Court was told gambling was “prevalent” among Macann’s footballing friends and by August 2016 when he committed the counterfeit currency offence he was going online and visiting both casinos and bookmakers.

Macann, who also appeared for Boston United youth team, was linked to the cash after he sent increasingly desperate texts demanding the return of the 51 counterfeit notes when they were held by another man.

Ian Way, prosecuting, said one of the messages read: “If you don’t get them back to me, you owe me, I’m coming round to your house now.”

Another read that “he’d sold them, and needed them back.”

Macann, of Halfpenny Lane, Beetley, carried out the counterfeit money offence while serving a six month suspended prison sentence passed in March 2016 for dangerous driving.

He admitted a counterfeit currency offence under section six of the Fraud Act.

Lisa Hardy, mitigating, said the court there had been a long delay in the money case coming to court during which time Macann had completed the unpaid work from his suspended sentence and turned his life around.

Miss Hardy said: “He has got to accept 51 notes is not a small amount, there is the potential for them to be distributed.”

But Miss Hardy added: “In August 2016 he was suffering with a gambling addiction.

She said: “At 17 he was on a professional football scholarship with Norwich, he was doing well and hoped to be a professional footballer.

“At 17 he was dropped by Norwich because he was not tall enough, he was a goalkeeper, and his life fell apart.”

Miss Hardy added Macann still saw gambling as a problem and had referred himself for help.

Judge Andrew Easteal agreed to adjourn sentence for the preparation of a probation report.

He was granted bail and will be sentenced on a later date at Lincoln Crown Court.

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