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Dodgy ‘Vodka’ lands Carlisle pub landlord in Court

Coach and Horses

The landlord of a pub in Carlisle has been convicted after pleading guilty to falsely describing alcohol he sold in the premises he operated.

Grahame George Vallance, of the Coach and Horses pub on Kingstown Road, Carilsle was today fined and ordered to pay costs of over £6,200 at the hearing at Carlisle Magistrates Court. The District Judge said the punishment would have been greater if it wasn’t for the current economic climate.

The court case followed the investigation of falsely described ‘Smirnoff’ vodka being sold from the pub in May 2019 by Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service after receiving a tip off.

On testing the contents of the ‘Smirnoff’ bottle behind the bar, Trading Standards Officers discovered that the liquid in the bottle was not genuine Smirnoff vodka, and had instead been substituted with a different product. Vallance admitted to Trading Standards that he had been decanting another liquid into a genuine Smirnoff vodka bottle.

During the inspection of the premises, Officers also found a falsely labelled 1.5 litre ‘Smirnoff’ vodka bottle which Vallance had quickly and deliberately hidden within the pub cellar.

John Greenbank, Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Manager, said: “Trading Standards will follow up on the intelligence we receive in addition to carrying out inspections of local businesses. We do this to ensure that consumers within Cumbria can have confidence in the authenticity and safety of their purchases. It also promotes a fair and level playing field for businesses. We hope the outcome of this case will reassure consumers within Cumbria that we consider the truthful description of food and drink products to be a priority area of work in protecting the public.”

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, Celia Tibble added: “This is yet another example of the excellent work carried out by our Trading Standards team to ensure that Cumbrian residents and visitors to the county are protected. The message is clear – if you are falsely describing food or drink you will be publicly held to account.”

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