Spelling mistake alerts authorities to fake booze at Hornchurch shop

A Hornchurch off licence has been fined for selling fake Jacob’s Creek wine after customers noticed ‘Australia’ was spelled wrongly on the label.

Hornchurch Market Ltd, trading as Hornchurch Supermarket, in High Street, pleaded guilty to selling two bottles of the fake booze and having a further 60 bottles for sale, at Romford Magistrates’ Court, last Friday (June 15).

The company was fined a total of �2,000 and ordered to pay costs of �999.

The court also ordered that all the counterfeit wine be destroyed.

Havering Council visited the trader following a complaint and test purchased two bottles of the suspect wine.

The labels on the back of the counterfeit bottles all had the same spelling mistake in which Australia was spelt Austrlia.

Tests showed that the contents were not harmful to health if drunk.

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The counterfeit bottles were being sold at a similar price to genuine Jacob’s Creek and apart from the spelling mistakes in the small print, they looked very similar to the real product.

Cabinet member with responsibility for public protection, Cllr Lesley Kelly, said: “Retailers need to be extra vigilant and only purchase from legitimate sources. Any trader found selling counterfeit drinks risks prosecution and a review of their alcohol licence.

“Counterfeit alcohol poses a real risk to the safety of residents of the borough and we will continue to take action against traders who flout the law.”

Consumers who are concerned that they may have inadvertently purchased counterfeit wine should contact the council on: 01708 434343.