Sunday, 22 November 2009

Ex-landlord loses licence over vodka scam

The perils of scamming drinkers with cheap spirits have been brought home to a former Anglesey landlord.

Harry Edward Bridge, of 54 High Street, Cemaes Bay, lost his licence to sell alcohol last week after being caught selling cheap spirits labeled as Smirnoff vodka.

During a routine visit to The Stag Inn in Cemaes Bay earlier this year, Trading Standards Officer found a bottle of Smirnoff vodka containing a cheap low strength spirit.

Mr Bridge, aged 62, who no longer runs the pub, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Food Safety Act, namely selling food (alcohol) not of the quality demanded and falsely describing the vodka on sale; and one charge of Trademark infringement, under the Trademarks Act.

Holyhead Magistrates ordered him to forfeit his personal licence to sell alcohol and pay a total of £450 in fines and costs.

Following the case brought by Anglesey Trading Standards, Principal Trading Standards Officer, Emma Jones, stressed, "Substituting branded spirits for cheaper alternatives is fraud, and will not be tolerated."

Environment portfolio holder, Councillor Bob Parry OBE, is responsible for trading standards matters. He added, "In the current economic climate, many people have a lot less disposable income and so the least they expect is to get what they pay for, and not to be charged full price for a cheap substitute. Our Trading Standards Officers will continue to visit premises on the Island to ensure that the public are not being ripped off and that they can buy with confidence."


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