News | Midnight Tipples land £12,000 fine

Alcohol supplier Midnight Tipples has been fined £12,276.64 after for supplying fake alcohol to BED nightclub.

Representatives of the company appeared before a Magistrate on Wednesday. Evidence presented against the alcohol supplier included tests that showed the vodka to include substances such as chloroform.

Joanne Hamer, the Trading Standards Officer assigned to the case, told LS that she was “very pleased with this result, hopefully it will deter other businesses from endangering people’s lives in this fashion.”

The fake alcohol was first sold to the night club on September 7 last year and was found to contain only 33.9 per cent alcohol, falling short of the legal limit required to be sold as vodka.

BED previously maintained that the fake spirit was marked for disposal and not intended for sale.

The judge heard evidence that the bottles carried no information about the alcohol content or a name and address for its manufacturer or packer, required by law.

The prosecuting lawyer representing Trading Standards Services suggested that it was clear that the fake alcohol had been sold and consumed, with customers complaining about a “funny taste”.

Midnight Tipples owner Graham Baldock, when interviewed in October 2012, maintained that only 480 bottles were delivered though a total of 652 were confiscated.

Mr. Baldock alleged that Gatecrasher contacted them to ask for a sale “desperate” for vodka. He also claimed that they wanted the “cheapest” brand that they could find. Mr. Baldock did not appear in court, however his son Graham Baldock Jnr. appeared on behalf of the company.

Midnight Tipples stated that they at no point saw the vodka, and that they were simply “middle men” in the transaction. They admitted that they took no samples of the vodka and that the alcohol was untested.

It was stressed by the defence that Midnight Tipples are brokers of alcohol, not producers.

Midnight Tipples paid £5,500 for the vodka, which they believed to be discounted as cleared stock from a food and wine company in Manchester.

Sean Hayes

Colette Armitage

Photo is for illustrative purposes.

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