A FRAUDSTER who posed as a prosperous businessman driving an expensive car took part in a £15,000 crime spree across Worcestershire and the Cotswolds.

Mark Bainbridge issued worthless cheques in Malvern, Evesham, Pershore, Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh from February to August last year.

Most of the cheques were issued in the name of Crucial Recruitment and were used to buy items including antiques and computer equipment and paying a laundry bill.

Bainbridge, aged 33, of Wharfside Street, Birmingham, was jailed for two years at Worcester Crown Court when he pleaded guilty to fraud and issuing false cheques.

He claimed to be a businessman renovating property.

One charge involved stealing goods worth £2,450 from a gallery in Moretonin- Marsh and another of making off without payment of £390 for services at the Mount Pleasant Hotel in Malvern.

He has been in custody since his initial guilty plea and will have 90 days deducted from his sentence.