Man who was arrested for using £100 coin to pay for his fuel at a Tesco Extra garage is awarded £5,000 in damages by police
- Brett Chamberlain, 54, attempted to pay for petrol at Tesco using £100 coin
- He used a Trafalgar Square special edition which is legal tender under a 1971 Act
- The carpenter launched legal action and received £5,000 compensation
- In 2014 he had similar run-in after trying to pay for petrol with five £20 coins
A man who was arrested for using a £100 commemorative coin to pay for his fuel at a Tesco Extra has been awarded £5,000 in damages by police.
Brett Chamberlain, 54, who works as a carpenter, filled up his car with £60 worth of diesel at a Tesco Extra in Exeter in July last year and was refused by staff, who would not accept his payment.
He used a 2016 Trafalgar Square special edition £100 coin, which had just 45,000 minted, to pay for his fuel and are legal tender under the 1971 Coinage Act.
The dad-of-four, who lives in Tiverton, Devon, was arrested on suspicion of ‘making off without payment’ after the manager called authorities.
He was later interrogated by police at Exeter Police station for four hours.
Brett Chamberlain, 54 (Pictured), attempted to pay for £60 worth of Diesel at a Tesco Extra in Exeter using £100 coin back in July last year
He used a Trafalgar Square special edition which is legal tender under a 1971 Act and launched legal action. He laster received £5,000 compensation from police
Mr Chamberlain, who collects coins, was released under investigation and sent a letter by the Devon and Cornwall Police saying he would not be charged.
‘They wanted to prosecute me for using Royal Mint coins. You couldn’t make it up.
‘I always use the coins to buy my fuel. Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s have taken them but Tesco are always difficult’, he told the Sun.
Mr Chamberlain took legal action ‘after failing to receive an adequate apology or an assurance the incident would be removed from the police national computer’.
He has now received notice of the £5,000 compensation.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: ‘We have taken steps to recognise and rectify the issues raised.’
In the UK, a person cannot be sued for a debt if they have attempted to pay with legal tender.
In England and Wales, £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes are all legal tender for payment of any amount. This is not the case in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
But Royal Mint coins of any amount are legal tender throughout the UK, meaning a court would see them as an acceptable method of payment, although a shop doesn’t have to accept them.
By law, a shop also doesn’t have to accept payment in 1p or 2ps for anything over the value of 20p.