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Court: Fraudster's fake liquor contained human waste

The bottles labeled as Smirnoff vodka and Jack Daniels whiskey were found to contain human urine and feces, prosecutors said.

By
Ben Hooper
Bottles of liquor at a liquor store. File Photo by BIllie Jean Shaw/UPI
Bottles of liquor at a liquor store. File Photo by BIllie Jean Shaw/UPI

BLACKPOOL, England, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A British fraudster who admitted to selling counterfeit bottles of booze containing human urine and feces was dubbed "a danger to public health" by magistrates.

The court heard Nicholas Stewart, 35, of Blackpool, England, was caught selling sealed bottles labeled as brand-name Smirnoff and Jack Daniels liquor inside the Coral Island slot machine complex on the Blackpool Promenade.

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Blackpool Council prosecutor Victoria Cartmell said security officers seized the bottles and sent two of them, one labeled as whiskey and the other as vodka, to a lab for analysis.

"They were purported to contain whiskey and vodka. But they were water laced with urine and feces probably to give the so called whiskey color," Cartmell told magistrates. "They were totally unsuitable for public consumption -- they were hazardous and contained dangerous E. coli bacteria. This man is has been involved in 32 incidents and is a persistent and troublesome offender."

Cartmell said authorities are seeking a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order to bar Stewart "from selling anything in Blackpool."

Martin Hillson, Stewart's defense attorney, said he will fight the CRASBO because it would prevent Stewart from making a living selling The Big Issue magazine.

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"It is a blanket ban in a set geographical area," he said.

Stewart pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud and magistrates branded him "a danger to public health" in handing down a 70-day jail term suspended for 12 months.

Councilor Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council's cabinet member for public safety, welcomed the outcome of the case.

"This individual has been a problem for consumers and retailers and, despite all our best efforts to deter him, has persisted with his scheme of attempting to sell fake alcohol.

"The products being sold are valueless and, in some cases, could be dangerous to health.

"We're therefore pleased to have been able to bring him before the courts for these offenses and we hope the sanctions that we've applied for will act as a further deterrent to him doing it again."

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