‘Cowboy bar’ fake vodka leads to fines

Preston Magistrates court
Preston Magistrates court
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A WESTERN themed pub which supplied fake vodka has been fined £800.

Investigators found Smirnoff sold at the Western Frontier public house at the Leisure Lakes caravan site in Mere Brow, Preston, was a spirit that did not classify legally as vodka.

Owner Lakeside Bar (Preston) Ltd, based in Fulwood, was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £40 surcharge by Preston Magistrates Court.

Company director Frederick Jorden, 67, of South View Terrace, Leyland, must pay £452 in fines, £125 costs and a £42 surcharge, while bar manager Gordon Woof, 51, of The Gravel, Mere Brow, must pay a £360 fine, £20 surcharge and £125 costs.

All admitted offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 in relation to the false description of Smirnoff, and offences under Spirit Drinks Regulations relating to spirits having a lower alcohol content than required by law.

Prosecuting, Claire Box said on November 7 last year, trading standards officers visited The Western Frontier pub, in Mere Brow, after a complaint was received.

Smirnoff vodka behind the bar was found not to be genuine and in a return visit, other vodkas were found to have an alcohol content 12% lower than required by law.

She said: “Consumers expect and are entitled to receive the food or drink they ask for. There is a clear detriment to them if they request a brand such as Smirnoff vodka and receive a lower quality substitute but at the same price.

“In the eyes of consumers, it doesn’t matter whether such actions are carried out intentionally or inadvertently, as they are losing out on value for their money and being misled as to what they are purchasing.”