A FRADULENT businessman and ex-bodybuilder who peddled falsely labelled bodybuilding foods and supplements to a Caerphilly gym has avoided jail.

Giles Havenhand, aged 49, of Budby, Nottinghamshire, is said to have made around £20,000 from the venture which saw him sell goods across the UK and Ireland.

He appeared at Cardiff Crown Court last week having pleaded guilty to 12 charges of defrauding creditors, business fraud, offering food for sale that was falsely labelled and breaching food safety regulations.

The court heard that the operation was uncovered after a joint investigation by trading standards, the Food Standards Agency and Europol.

In October of last year, a trading standards investigation at Platinum Fitness in Bargoed found three suspicious samples of whey protein, chain amino acids and protein flapjacks.

“The owner of the gym, champion bodybuilder Justin Trollope, told officers that he had got the products from a bodybuilding acquaintance by the name of Gill,” said prosecutor Kayleigh Simmons.

“All of the products had the branding of Global Nutrition and had numerous labelling irregularities.”

Scientific tests uncovered the measurements and ingredients found on the labels of the food and supplements were “grossly inaccurate”, said Ms Simmons.

The court heard that certain allergens, such as milk and soya, contained in some of the products were not clearly labelled, which the prosecution said could have endangered lives.

When Havenhand was interviewed by trading standards, he told officers that his name was “Gill Smith” and said that Global Nutrition, a business he was director of, had gone into administration the day before.

Investigators also found that Global Nutrition Ltd as a business had not been registered with the local authorities in Nottinghamshire.

“The defendant said that Global Nutrition was fictitious,” said Ms Simmons.

“He got the products in plain containers then made the labels himself with some description of what is in them taken from a scrap of paper that came with the products.

“These scraps of paper were never produced.”

It was also found that the Global Nutrition website contained both pictures of Mr Trollope and endorsements from him.

The former Mr Britain had told investigators that he had given no such permission to Havenhand to use his likeness to promote the products.

Lowri Wynn Morgan, defending, told the court that her client had entered early guilty pleas and was “deeply sorry” for what he had done.

Ms Wynn Morgan added that Havenhand, who worked as a taxi driver, had ironically found himself in ill health after using mislabelled bodybuilding substances in the past.

Judge William Gaskell handed Havenhand an eight-month sentence suspended for two years, but described his actions as “potentially dangerous and grossly irresponsible”.

Havenhand was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.