A university student was left with damaged eyesight after drinking cut-price 'vodka' from an off-licence.
In a sick twist, the shopkeeper even jokingly told 21-year-old Lauren Platts 'it will blind you', as he sold her the fake spirit for £5.99.
The Sheffield University student laughed off his comments, but after having some of the drink she became violently ill, and is still having problems with her sight two months later.
Miss Platts, from Chesterfield, drank around a third of a bottle mixed with lemonade before going on a night out with friends.
She was terrified when she woke up with blurred vision, vomiting and suffering from searing migraines.
She said: 'I went in and asked for cheap vodka, which I have done before, it was up on the shelf behind the counter for everybody to see. At £5.99 it was a cheap bottle of vodka but not cheap enough to say "whatís wrong with that?"
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'The man behind the counter handed it to me and joked to me, "This will make you blind", which I laughed at, but obviously Iím not laughing now after what has happened .
'I drank probably a third or quarter of the bottle before I went out, mixed with lemonade. My friends and I looked at the UK duty stamp and noticed it was pixellated but again at the time we laughed it off because you trust the place you are buying it from .
Dire warning: The off-licence worker joked that the £5.99 drink could make her blind - but his gruesome prediction turned out to be accurate
'The next morning I woke up and I had the worst migraine Iíve ever had in my life it wasnít like a normal hangover. My vision was blurred , I was throwing up, I couldnít eat anything or drink anything.
Iím just grateful to be alive or not completely blind. This is just from one night of buying this vodka. I now know that what I was drinking was industrial alcohol not fit for human consumption.
'By the second day of feeling like that I was starting to think "will I ever get better?".'
Miss Platts still has blurred vision and regularly loses her peripheral vision.
'Itís really scary,' she said. 'I think I might have it for good, but Iím just grateful to be alive or not completely blind.
'When you canít see anything when youíre driving or even walking down the street trying to cross the road.
'If it is still happening now affecting my vision then I assume it will go on and this is just from one night of buying this vodka
'I now know that what I was drinking was industrial alcohol not fit for human consumption. Obviously the people who produce this donít care what it does.
'This is affecting peopleís everyday lives. The people who produce this donít take any responsibility.'
Speaking out: The 21-year-old is afraid her vision will never be the same after she unknowingly drank the 'industrial alcohol'
Fake vodka is produced on an industrial scale. Often methylated spirit is mixed with bleach to change the colour of the alcohol, so it resembles vodka.
Other chemicals like isopropanol, used in cleaning fluids, and chloroform, used in pesticides, have also been found in bogus brands.
Police and Trading Standards say the illegal industry is becoming more sophisticated.
In July, five men died in an explosion at an industrial unit in Boston, Lincolnshire. Police later confirmed they had found a filtration plant for making fake vodka within the small building.
A consultant at Lincoln County Hospital, Vikas Sodiwala, said patients were turning up at casualty departments complaining of similar symptoms to Miss Platts - dizziness, nausea, stomach pains, vomiting and blurred vision.
Cut-price deal: Lauren Platts bought the cheap 'vodka' because she wanted to save money as a student at Sheffield University (pictured)
He said they had bought vodka at off-licences, drank it at parties, and even got it from car boot sales.
He said: 'Methanol can attack the optic nerve at the back of the eye. This is what can affect a personís vision and in some cases make them blind.
'Iím hearing this is now a nationwide problem and other colleagues in the East Midlands are reporting an increase in patients who donít realise theyíve consumed industrial alcohol, not vodka.'
Ed Binsted, president of the British Bottlers Institute, said fake booze factories were appearing around the country.
He said: 'These places are like timebombs.They are popping up all over the country.
'The industry needs to be one step ahead of the boot-leggers - theyíre getting better at forging the bottles and labels. But the contents are lethal.'
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