Married dad-to-be Martin Ward, 19, tried to outwit bar staff at the War Horse public house in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, but when his friend pulled a similar stunt to pay for a Red Bull and coke with a £50, the suspicious staff rumbled them.
Preston’s Sessions House Court heard how barman Shane Howarth had served the men on March 25 last year.
Craig McGregor, prosecuting, said: “Two men entered his pub and the defendant went to the bar and ordered a Budweiser and J20 and tendered a £50 note.
“The barman checked it and it appeared OK.
“But the next customer was this defendant’s friend who bought Red Bull and Coke, again with a £50 note.
“The barman asked the manager to check the note and both were found to be false.
“His identity became known when his fingerprint was found on the note.”
Ward, now of York Road, Accrington, made no comment in interview.
Ward’s wife, dad and sisters watched from the public gallery as Judge Jeremy Lasker imposed six months’ jail, suspended for 18 months, with 120 hours unpaid work.
He said: “I’m quite sure you both bought the drinks to get the change in legitimate money so you could then go and spend it.
“You were rather naively told the author of your pre-sentence report you found it on a towpath. I’m glad to hear sensibly that’s not being advanced on your behalf today.
“Where you got that £50 note, I’ve no idea, but I’m sure you tendered it with the intention of defrauding somebody.”