Brackley man charged over counterfeit coin factory

GVof Rumours snooker hall, 12a Banbury Road, Brackley.
GVof Rumours snooker hall, 12a Banbury Road, Brackley.

A businessman has appeared in court charged with manufacturing home-made £1 coins in an “illicit mint” at his snooker club in Brackley.

Paul Young, aged 48, appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court charged with making counterfeit coins in a room connected to the Rumours snooker hall in Brackley.

He was also charged with owning a pneumatic press with the intention of making counterfeit coins.

Young, whose address was given as the snooker hall in Banbury Road, Brackley, pleaded not guilty to the first charge and entered no plea to the second charge.

The court heard a search warrant was executed by officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) on Tuesday when a 75-tonne hydraulic press was discovered in an annex at the back of the club.

About 2,000 fake £1 coins were recovered, the court was told. Specialist officers also found a large amount of metal, as well as notepads allegedly with “stage by stage” instructions and diagrams showing how to make fake coins.

They also found a glass unit used to heat coins, which the court heard could be used as part of an ageing process for coins.

Prosecuting, Colin McGregor alleged: “The defendant has spent in excess of £3,000 in order to create what is described as an ‘illicit mint’.”

Defending, Caroline McGann told magistrates the coins had been of a “very bad” quality and said there was “no way” they could have been passed into circulation.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction and adjourned the case to be committed at a later date.

A spokesman for South Northamptonshire Council confirmed the snooker club had had its licence removed following a recommendation from the police.

The licence was removed, closing the snooker hall, last week.

An SNC spokesman said: “We can confirm on October 24 the snooker club Rumours, in Brackley, had its licence suspended following a request from Northamptonshire Police to South Northamptonshire Council’s Licensing sub-committee.

“The premises will remain closed until the review, which will take place on Tuesday, November 20, at South Northamptonshire Council.”

Young was given bail and was told to report to Brackley police station on weekdays.

He is due to return to court for a committal hearing next month.