Gary Irwin Dittman, 75, pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court.
Gary Irwin Dittman, 75, pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court.

Home brew genius retiree kicked out of golf club

A RETIREE who earned $43,000 in under a year by selling homemade grog has been "kicked-out" of the golf club where most of his customers were, a court was told.

Gary Irwin Dittman had already copped a $10,000 fine for distilling and selling his own liquor without a licence.

The 75-year retiree returned to the Southport Courthouse yesterday to be penalised again for his successful but illegal business on charges laid by the Australian Taxation Office.

He pleaded guilty to manufacturing excisable goods, not paying duty and possessing a still.

Dittman brewed alcohol in a 35-litre still in his Nerang garage and sold it to friends at golf and also made some home deliveries.

The drink was 50 per cent alcohol and cost $15-25 a bottle.

The court was told he avoided paying about $12,000 in exercise duty fees.

Defence lawyer Jason Jacobson, of Jacobson Mahony Lawyers, said Dittman dipped into his superannuation account to pay for the $10,000 fine.

Dittman otherwise had an unblemished history and was a hardworking and generous citizen, Mr Jacobson said.

The first-time offender, who Mr Jacobson said was "kicked-out" of the golf club, also previously worked at a home brew shop.

Mr Jacobson said friends were eager to try Dittman's drink and orders poured in before he knew it.

Magistrate Pam Dowse said Dittman's operation was "fairly sophisticated" and there was a "commercial aspect".

Dittman was convicted and fined $1500.