United Kingdom

Midlands butcher fined for rigging his scales revealed to have fleet of expensive cars

A cheating butcher who swindled customers today refused to say sorry and defended owning a fleet of luxury cars.

Matthew Butler, 50, was caught rigging his scales with coins so he could overcharge his customers.

MailOnline can reveal Butler has a classic Porsche Carrera, Bentley, an Audi, Mercedes and black pick-up truck parked outside his detached home in a leafy rural suburb.

Asked about his car collection, he told MailOnline: 'I have been in business for 30 years so what has that got to do with anything.

'What can I say?'

Matthew Butler (pictured), 50, was caught rigging his scales with coins so he could overcharge his customers

MailOnline can reveal Butler has a classic Porsche Carrera, Bentley, an Audi, Mercedes and black pick-up truck parked outside his detached home in a leafy rural suburb

Pushing on owning such a large collection of motors, the defiant butcher said: 'Is that a crime?'

Speaking at his Muddy Pigs butchers, Mr Butler said: 'I don't particularly want to say anything,' when quizzed about his fraud.

Asked if he was sorry for what had happened, the mustachioed butcher said: 'Well I'm not making a comment.'

A court heard that Butler secretly stuck 1.7oz of coins to the scales with Blu Tack, allowing him to charge shoppers full price for less meat. He is believed to have made around 30p from each sale.

He was caught after undercover trading standards officers visited Muddy Pig Butchers, in Willenhall, West Midlands.

Butler secretly stuck coins to his butcher scales with Blu Tack (pictured) so that every weighing would be 1.7oz light, conning customers out of about 30p per sale

He was caught after undercover trading standards officers visited Muddy Pig Butchers (pictured), in Willenhall, West Midlands

Butler, who owns the store, admitted to the 'fraudulent use of a scale' and of 'selling short weight meat' at Dudley Magistrates Court on Feb 18.

His customers were shocked by the fraud.

Pensioner Bill Wright, 72, said: 'He's always so chatty and charming. I never knew anything like that was going on.

'I'm shocked but hopefully he's changed as I always enjoy coming in for his chops.'

A rival shopkeeper said: 'I'd heard he likes his car and showing off. I thought he was just a bit of flash harry rather than dodgy.

Butler (pictured), who owns the store, admitted to the 'fraudulent use of a scale' and of 'selling short weight meat' at Dudley Magistrates Court on Feb 18

'But you never know. I'd heard rumours he's been cutting corners but stunned he's been done for something so blatant.'

Shopper Harry West, 66, said: 'I only go in now and again, but never again. People don't like being ripped off.

'My wife likes him as he's very chatty but I always thought there was something iffy about him. I'll be using one of the other butchers from now on.'

Butler was fined and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work to 'give back to the community of customers he had cheated'.

The court heard Mr Butler had altered his scales deliberately to con customers out of additional cash by giving a false impression of the weight of produce they were buying.

An investigation was launched after Walsall Council received a number of complaints about the 'sharp practice' in 2019 and dispatched undercover Trading Standards officers to the shop.

They posed as customers asking for stewing steak in October and November that year, and discovered that they were sold 1.7oz short of the weight they had asked for.

The court heard Mr Butler had altered his scales deliberately to con customers out of additional cash by giving a false impression of the weight of produce they were buying

When they later seized the scales the court was told that they found coins had been stuck on to the mechanism meaning customers were being systematically overcharged.

When officers removed the coins and tested the scales, they were accurate, adding they could see no reason for the presence of the coins other than to defraud customers.

Mr Butler's business was burgled in early September 2019, with the thieves ransacking the shop of stock and damaging the inside.

His shop scales were knocked to the floor and and he claimed in court that he had added the ballast after 'experimenting' with the 'damaged scales' in order to get them to read satisfactorily.

But the court rejected his explanation and he was ordered to pay costs totalling £1,798 and given an 18-month community order of 200 hours of unpaid work.

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