Club soda or Vodka / Gin and tonic mixed drink with lemon slice on a gray background with reflectionShutterstock / Palmer Kane LLC

A nightclub owner has been caught selling industrial alcohol often used in antifreeze.

Trading standards inspectors seized hundreds of bottles of what looked like Smirnoff vodka when they raided the Candy Club in Chelmsford, Essex.

But on closer examination they found the vodka was fake and the bottles actually contained industrial alcohol often used in antifreeze and cleaning products.

An Essex County Council investigation later found the vodka had been purchased from a van calling at the back door of the club.

Although there was no evidence that anybody had fallen ill as a result, the council said the public had potentially been at risk.

Club owner Geoffrey Livesey, 59, of Inchbonnie Road, South Woodham Ferrers, admitted three counts of breaching food, spirit and consumer protection regulations at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court, the council said.

Livesey was sentenced to 250 hours unpaid work in the community and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60.

Roger Walters, cabinet member for trading standards, said: "This is a very successful outcome for trading standards and for Chelmsford residents.

"This man was willing to risk the health of his customers by selling counterfeit vodka.

"Businesses should ensure that they purchase goods from traceable and reputable wholesalers."

The council raided the premises after a tip-off that it may be selling counterfeit booze.

They found 96 full, six partly-drunk and 134 empty bottles.