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 edition, which is legal tender according to 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.  

After being called by authorities, the father-of-four was taken into custody on suspicion of’making away without payment’.

Later, he was interrogated for four hours by police at Exeter Police Station.

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

He purchased a Trafalgar Square edition special edition, which is legal tender under the 1971 Act, and he 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 me to be prosecuted for using Royal Mint Coins. It couldn’t be made up. 

“I always use the coins for fuel. He told the Sun that Morrisons, Asda, and Sainsbury’s had taken them, but Tesco are always difficult to get.

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.’  

If a person has attempted to pay a debt with legal tender, they cannot be sued.

In England and Wales, £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes are all legal tender for payment of any amount. This is not true for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Royal Mint coins in any amount are legal tender in the UK. A court would accept them as payment. However, a shop does not have to accept them.

A shop is not required to accept payment in 1p, 2ps or 2ps for any amount above 20p.

Advertisement