TWO men who were caught with hundreds of pounds worth of fake Scottish bank notes found the stash ‘by chance’ and one of the men only tried to use one note ‘out of curiosity’ a court heard.

Ricky Burton, 30, of Gurney Road, Portsmouth, and Scott Reed, 28, of Ashurst Road, Portsmouth, each deny one count of having in their possession counterfeit currency notes and one count of tendering a note as genuine currency.

As their trial at Oxford Crown Court continued yesterday, Reed, who is alleged to have tried to use one of the fake £20s at Savers in High Street, Abingdon on March 29, took to the witness box.

He told the jury of seven women and five men that he and Burton had found the £360 of notes, which prosecutors said had been printed using an inkjet printer, by chance.

He said: “We found the money on the floor. We wanted to find out what it was, we were excited about what we had found.

“We didn’t even know we were going to Abingdon.”

Reed told the court that when they arrived in the town he went into a nearby Savers to see if the currency could be used.

He told jurors that the notes, which were in the style of Scottish bank notes, were not a currency he had ever seen before and he went into the shop to find out what it was he carrying.

When asked by the prosecution why he didn’t notice that each of the bank notes had an identical serial number he said: “I don’t even look at English money, let alone foreign money.”

Prosecutors maintain that the pair came to Abingdon in a bid to spend the fake notes for personal gain.

The trial continues.