Couple sentenced for producing ‘fake’ meat

A Staffordshire couple have been sentenced for selling ‘fake’ meat on unlicensed premises and selling it on to unaware butchers and local residents under the name Lionheart Marketing, reported the Uttoxeter Advertiser

Forty-eight-year-old Darren Jinks and his partner Sarah Beckett, 40, were accused of manufacturing counterfeit ostrich, goat and wild boar out of bacon, sausages, burgers and chicken from Lionheart Marketing, heard Stafford Crown Court.

Health officers found some falsely labelled meat stored in the garage of Jinks’ and Beckett’s home. Furthermore, the couple rented a unit on a local industrial estate, which didn’t hold a licence for meat processing.

As a result of their actions, Jinks has been handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years. Meanwhile, Beckett was conditionally discharged for 12 months. Both were ordered to pay £6,000 costs between them.

Prosecutor Tony Watkins said the defendants were fully aware that their business was not allowed to carry out the processing of meat on the premises, claimed the Uttoxeter Advertiser.

Previous to this incident, Lionheart took over a meat processing plant in Crackley Gates in 2012, but was later shut down after the Food Standards Authority revoked its licence due to concerns over hygiene levels.

Jinks claimed the meat was for personal consumption, when questioned. However, he did admit to two charges of producing or supplying falsely labelled meat between 2013 and 2015, with Beckett admitting to fraud dating back to January of last year.

According to the Uttoxeter Advertiser, both Jinks and Beckett both admitted to putting food on the market that was unsafe in April 2014.

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