A WARWICKSHIRE based butcher has been jailed after he was found to have falsely sold goods mislabelled as British - which he had, in fact, imported from Brazil, New Zealand and elsewhere in Europe.

Simon Drust, who runs The Meat Shack butcher’s shop in Studley, Warwickshire, reportedly raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds for his fraudulent ‘Best of British’ labelled beef, chicken and pork.

Trading Standards became suspicious of his activities when a customer found a Dutch label below a ‘Best of British’ stamp on their pack of chicken breasts.

Drust, together with his partner and company secretary, Susan Mitchell, set up the Meat Shack in 2014 and supposedly covered it in Union Jacks. Investigators found that they bought large quantities of New Zealand lamb, Dutch and Danish gammon, Dutch and Belgian chicken, and Brazilian and Irish beef.

The 51-year-old admitted to fraudulent trading and was jailed for two years and nine months at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday, April 25. The company will also pay a fine of £300,000 and Drust has been ordered to pay £54,527 in costs.

Deputy Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: "You intended to make gains for yourself and consequent losses to others by fraud. You did it by tricking people into engaging in transactions by pretending that the meat they were to buy was of British origin and had a good animal welfare background. In addition, legitimate businesses who would have higher overheads, advertising the very same products as you, would lose out.”