LONDON - Four members of a gang led by a businessman nicknamed "Maggot Pete" were sentenced to prison Friday for selling condemned poultry to supermarkets, schools and hospitals across Britain.
Prosecutors said David Lawton, 55; Robert Mattock, 59; George Allen, 47; and Gary Drewett, 33, were part of a group that bought poultry carcasses that had been declared unfit for human consumption, stored them at the rat-infested premises of Denby Poultry in Denby, central England and then sold the meat on.
The men had pleaded guilty to fraud charges for recycling 450 tons of chicken and turkey — which in most cases had been deemed unfit even for pet food — into the human food chain. Some of it ended up in products such as spreads and pates sold by major supermarket chains.
A judge at Nottingham Crown Court gave the men sentences of between 15 months and 4 years and 3 months. A fifth man received a suspended sentence.
Judge Richard Benson told the defendants they had committed "a wicked fraud."
"If you had been dealing in Class A drugs rather than in chicken, then the sentences you would be receiving would be in double figures," he said. "The people who consume drugs know the risks involved. Your victims didn't."
The owner of Denby Poultry, Peter "Maggot Pete" Roberts, was convicted in his absence at an earlier trial. Police say they believe he has fled to continental Europe.
Seriously, how come none of the people from McDonald's have gone to jail.
They were the ones using animal oil on the meat.