Fake spirits conman sentenced

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A conman tried to pass off water and weak tea as vodka and whisky.

Anthony Stewart attempted to sell the fake spirits on the street in Blackpool.

Stewart, 34, of Coronation Street, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud.

He was sentenced to 12 months supervision and fined £30 with £60 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Stewart was seen on Bank Hey Street with what purported to be a bottle of Smirnoff and a bottle of Jack Daniels on December 11 at 10.35am. One of the bottle caps was held on with masking tape.

Police heard Stewart say to a woman “excuse me love you don’t want to buy some alcohol do you?” Stewart had a lengthy record with similar convictions.

Martin Hillson, defending, said that at the time Stewart was desperate because his benefits had been suspended. Stewart had had drug problems, but was now on a methadone programme.