AN alcoholic used counterfeit money found in a wallet to buy pizzas for her friends, a court heard.

Samantha Tolley, of no fixed address, said she found a wallet containing two fake £20 notes in the Shelley Road area of Darlington on January 13.

Instead of handing it to police, the 27-year-old tried to use the cash to order £25 worth of pizzas for her friends, Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard.

Blair Martin, prosecuting, said it was the pizza delivery person who noticed the fake money, and Tolley later told police: “I took the pizzas but I gave them back because the money was dodgy.”

Ben Pegman, mitigating, said alcoholic Tolley was made homeless after her friends took advantage of her and used her property to drink in.

“Because she is an alcoholic she has found it quite difficult financially,” he said.

“She described finding the wallet as like winning the lottery because it had two £20 notes in.”

She pleaded guilty to theft, putting her in breach of an eight-month conditional discharge from May last year for a similar offence.

Magistrates fined her £73 with a £20 victim surcharge.