A man who used worthless cheques to buy goods worth £40,000, including hundreds of Christmas trees and turkeys, has been jailed for three years and two months.

David Osborne, of Stubbs Lane, Braintree, carried out a series of frauds during a 15-month spree, leaving businesses all over the country and abroad out of pocket.

Osborne wrote cheques from books issued either to empty or closed bank accounts, knowing they would not be honoured.

In 2014, he travelled to Holland where he was wined and dined by a Christmas tree firm before he placed an order for 900 trees worth £15,000.

He also cheated a poultry farm out of 17 turkeys and chickens in December 2013.

PC Nick Smith, of Braintree police, said: “It’s fantastic news but I feel sorry for the victims who have lost thousands of pounds they are never going to get back."

See this week's Braintree Times for the full story.