Caught red-handed: Harold Hill lorry driver smuggling 24,000 litres of beer

14:07 27 August 2014

The man was smuggling 24,000 litres of beer. Picture: Shutterstock

The man was smuggling 24,000 litres of beer. Picture: Shutterstock


A retired lorry driver who smuggled 24,000 litres of beer into the UK has been spared jail today.

Brian Gutteridge, 66, of Briar Road, Harold Hill drove a trailer filled with illegal booze from Calais, France, into the country.

The 25 pallets of alcohol were snuck past customs officers to cheat the government out of around £35,000 worth of excise duty and VAT.

Gutteridge was caught red-handed as he was unloading the lorry at a warehouse in Tilbury, Essex.

He pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of duty on the first day of his trial at the Old Bailey.

The judge, Mr Recorder Levett, said: “On August 22, 2012, you carried out some work as a lorry driver which required you to go to Calais and return back, swapping a trailer at Tilbury and then delivering goods which were subject to duty in the region of £35,000.

“The authorities intercepted this by apprehending everyone when they were unloading the lorry at Best Price Cash and Carry.

“The offence was fraudulent at the outset - the delivery address was texted to you on the boat coming back from Calais.”

The illegal goods were all recovered by the authorities and there was no actual loss to the government.

Gutteridge, who suffers from a number of health problems including diabetes and arthritis, was jailed for 18 months in 1998 for smuggling tobacco into the UK.

He was stopped two months before the August scam with smuggled goods and let off with a warning.

Gutteridge was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for two years and banned from holding a driving licence for six months.

He pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of duty chargeable on goods, namely a consignment of alcoholic beverages, on August 22, 2012.

Read more:

Havering Council’s past: Pipe smoke-filled chambers and people-smuggling

Two Havering men jailed for tobacco smuggling

£50m alcohol smuggling scam operated from Upminster

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:26
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addresses the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central. Picture Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

Parent power could see schools providing childcare for the whole working day and holidays if enough families request it.

Yesterday, 16:15
Rob Bull, pilot killed in the Chigwell air crash

The operators of a plane which crashed in Chigwell killing the two pilots on board have paid tribute to the pair in a heartfelt statement.

Yesterday, 12:21
Adesina was stabbed in Padbury Court, Bethnal Green

Stabbed teenager Joel Adesina spent his final hours in a weaponised gang wearing face coverings and fleeing at least one man with a knife, the Old Bailey heard.

Yesterday, 10:32
Straight Road, Romford

A man in his 40s was stabbed in Straight Road, Romford, last night.

Yesterday, 10:00
Cllr Ross Hatfull says Redbridge Council will ask people to move out of the borough so they do not become homeless, such is the extent of the housing crisis. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

Havering Council has the lowest acceptance rate of homelessness of any London borough.

Yesterday, 07:15
Train passing level crossing

A victim of sexual assault who was “shaken” by an incident on a train is calling for more action in deterring sexual offences on public transport following TfL’s announcement of a 32per cent increase in London.

Thu, 16:16
Robert Bull, the pilot killed after his plane crashed in Gravel Lane, Chigwell

Tributes have been paid to a Hornchurch pilot tragically killed alongside his colleague when their plane crashed into a field and burst into flames.

Thu, 07:37
Havering Council has halted the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch

A dramatic turn of events has seen the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch halted by Havering Council.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder