Pub and its manager watered down spirits, court told

A PUB and its manager have been ordered to pay £2,454 after the manager was found to be watering down spirits.
Jia Tong Chen, 41, manager of the Dunham Arms on Chester Road, Dunham on the Hill, pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates Court to nine offences in respect of himself and Dunham Arms Ltd of selling spirits which had been watered down.
The company was fined £125 for each offence, totalling £1,125, with Chen fined £40 for each offence, totalling £360. The company was ordered to pay £620 costs and a £113 victim surcharge, with Chen to pay £200 costs and a £36 victim surcharge.
Magistrates were told regulatory services officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) visited the Dunham Arms in November 2019 and used electronic devices to check the beers and spirits, discovering the alcohol strength was less than it should have been.
Chen told officers that every time he refilled the larger wall mounted bottles on the bar, he used new smaller bottles which he rinsed out with water so not to waste any of the spirit residues. He then poured the water/ residue mix into the larger bottles before remounting them onto the wall.
The court was told the case did not involve food safety, but the public had a right to expect the alcohol to be at the advertised strength.
Neither the company nor Chen intended to create excess profit and were of previous good character. Chen was a valued member of the community in which he lived, and the business provided a valuable service.
After the hearing, Cllr Karen Shore, deputy leader of CWaC said: “The judge acknowledged there was no intent to create excess profit and we accept that decision. However, the public must have confidence that they actually receive what they are paying for when purchasing alcohol. Our regulatory services officers work hard to ensure that businesses are trading fairly and safely for residents in the borough.”

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