Restaurant owner fined £5,000 for ripping off customers

08 October 2007
Restaurant owner fined £5,000 for ripping off customers

The owner of a Chinese restaurant on Teesside has been fined a total of £5,000 on appeal after he substituted cheaper spirits for named brands.

Wei Quan Huang, of the Good Luck Chinese Restaurant, Stockton, had earlier been found guilty of breaching the Food Safety Act 1990 when he appeared before Teesside magistrates.

He had denied the charges.

The court heard that during a routine inspection by Trading Standards Officers spirits were checked and it was discovered that bottles labelled Gordon's Gin and Smirnoff Vodka actually contained cheaper brands.

Wei Quan Huang last week lost his appeal at Teesside Crown Court (4 October).

His lawyers had argued that the spirits had been moved to the bar area following a clean up and that they had been for personal use and had not been intended to be on sale to the public.

After the case David Kitching, Stockton Council's Trading Standards and Licensing Manager, said: "I am concerned about the high level of adulterated products being found, especially in restaurant premises. This type of illegal practise will not and should not be tolerated."

At the earlier hearing Huanga had been fined £2,000 with £2,000 costs. At the end of the appeal hearing a further £1,000 in costs was added.

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By Andrew Smith

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