Bacon-sellers sentenced for fraudulent activity

Two businessmen have been sentenced for selling misleading bacon products.

William Smith, aged 41, of Park Farm Cottage in Kneesall and his father Andrew Smith, 65, of Old Hall Farm, Newark, have received a combined suspended prison sentence of three years and seven months for selling EU-sourced bacon, which they claimed was free-range and locally produced. The Nottinghamshire men must also serve 380 hours of unpaid work.

William pleaded guilty to five fraud offences between April 2012 and February 2015 and will serve a sentence of 19 months and a suspension for two years, 180 hours unpaid work and £15,000 costs. Andrew pleaded guilty to one fraud offence on 1 June 2013 and has subsequently received a two-year suspension, two-year sentence, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £5,000.

The Smiths run Barn Bacon Limited. They falsely claimed their bacon products were sourced from Britain and were free-range and even claimed on occasion that it came from animals reared on their farm in Kneesall.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards were first made aware of the false claims in 2014 after finding that, since 2011, one of their suppliers had sourced their bacon from the European Union, mainly Germany, Poland and Denmark. It was reported that the supplier was unaware that its products were being repackaged and sold as British.

The case was heard on Monday, 24 April at Nottingham Crown Court where it was heard that many offences involved selling products at various markets in Nottinghamshire, including Southwell Market and Collingham Show.

Furthermore, the business held pitches at the annual Shambala Festival in Northampton. One of the criteria is that only traders who sell free-range, home-produced products can participate.

The father-and-son team’s claims also enabled them to have a stand at the annual Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire, where traders must sell high-quality products, including home-produced and free-range products.

“This company’s blatant false claims have allowed it to sell its bacon products at a higher price than would be expected for standard products and gave it access to pitches at festivals to the detriment of legitimate traders,” said Claudine White, trading standards manager at Nottinghamshire County Council.

“The judge said the pair behaved in a thoroughly dishonest manner and their deceit was persistent and sophisticated. This prosecution sends a strong warning out to traders carrying out misleading practices that they will be brought before the courts.”

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