A man has been awarded £5,000 in compensation after being investigated for paying a fuel bill with a £100 coin.
Dad-of-four Brett Chamberlain attempted to fill up his petrol tank at a Tesco station in July, 2020, and used a Trafalgar Square special edition £100 coin to pay the bill.
But the 54-year-old said he was kicked out of the station in Exeter by staff who accused him of making off without paying for the fuel.
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The carpenter, of Tiverton, Devon, used a special edition coin which is legal tender under a 1971 Act, with 45,000 such coins being minted in 2016, MirrorOnline reports.
He said he was interrogated by the police before he was released under investigation for using the coin.
Dad Brett was then sent a letter by the Devon and Cornwall Police force saying he would not be charged.
He launched legal action and has now received notice of compensation.
“They wanted to prosecute me for using Royal Mint coins,” he told the Sun.
“You couldn’t make it up. I was trying to spend money like any other citizen.
“I always use the coins to buy my fuel.
“Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s have taken them but Tesco are always difficult.”
While legal tender can be used as a form of payment, shops and businesses are unlikely to accept them as large denomination coins are usually designed as as limited edition collectables or gifts.
Below is a list of the notes and coins that are legal tender for payment in the UK.
According to the Royal Mint website, in England and Wales the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes are legal tender for payment of any amount.
It’s to be noted, however, that they are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Coins are legal tender throughout the country for the following amount:
£100 – for any amount
£50 – for any amount
£20 – for any amount
£5 (Crown) – for any amount
£2 – for any amount
£1 – for any amount
50p – for any amount not exceeding £10
25p (Crown) – for any amount not exceeding £10
20p – for any amount not exceeding £10
10p – for any amount not exceeding £5
5p – for any amount not exceeding £5
2p – for any amount not exceeding 20p
1p – for any amount not exceeding 20p
Devon and Cornwall police said in a statement to the Mirror the force had “considered all the complaints raised and have taken steps to recognise and rectify the issues raised in this case.”
Tesco said in a statement to the Mirror: “Although commemorative coins are classified as legal tender, they are not considered to be circulating legal tender – which must be accepted in businesses and banks.
“For this reason, retailers are not obliged to accept them as a form of payment – it is at their discretion and our Tesco Exeter Vale store decided not to accept commemorative coins.”
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