THE OWNER of a shop which sold fake alcohol so bad it was unfit for humans to consume has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds by magistrates.

Paulam Patel, owner of Kush News in Southampton Street, left investigators stunned after they seized a stash of counterfeit bottles of whiskey and illegal vodka.

It is the second time Patel has been caught out, after investigators snared him for a similar litany of alcohol related offences in February 2015 at a different store.

The second batch of dodgy booze was tested and traces of chemicals which are dangerous to human health were found inside.

Patel, of Southampton Street, was ordered to pay costs of more than £3,500 and the store's alcohol licence was immediately revoked by the council.

Paul Gittings, lead member for consumer services, said: “I’m pleased the court has confirmed the Council’s decision to revoke this premises licence and sent out the clear message licensing breaches like these will not be tolerated.

“By removing the illegal alcohol, the Council has prevented a potentially serious health risk to unwitting consumers. Hopefully, the action that has been taken will also make traders think twice about stocking these products.

“Revoking the shop’s licence will also act as a further reminder that the illegal selling of age restricted products is unacceptable. Consumer safety is a major priority and we will continue to carry out our underage sales test exercises on a regular basis.”

HMRC raided the store in April 2016 and found 285 bottles of smuggled wine which had dodged legal tax duty.

They also found 12 bottles of illegal vodka and a stash of counterfeit bottles of whisky.

Patel also failed a check for identification during a test purchase of alcohol.

Reading Borough Council revoked his licence when the offences came to light, and magistrates upheld the decision on February 13.

Patel was ordered to pay costs of £3,674.

A council spokesman added: "This was the second time Mr Patel has had a licence revoked, following the removal of his licence in February 2015 at C & K Food & Wine, 467 Northumberland Avenue, Reading, after a similar litany of alcohol related offences and a history of non-compliance."