‘It’s legal tender’ Man arrested for using £100 coin to pay for fuel wins payout

The Royal Mint detail their 2021 annual coin set

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Brett Chamberlain put £60 worth of fuel into his car at a Tesco in Exeter, but his payment was refused by staff in July last year. Mr Chamberlain, 54, attempted to pay using a £100 coin, which was a Trafalgar Square special edition from 2016.

Only 45,000 of the commemorative coins were minted, and they are classified as legal tender under the Coinage Act of 1971.

Mr Chamberlain, a carpenter living in Tiverton, Devon, is a coin collector and told the Sun that he plans to use the compensation awarded to him to purchase more.

He said: “They interrogated me.

“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.”

Mr Chamberlain was arrested on suspicion of “making off without payment,” after authorities were called by the Tesco Extra staff.

He was questioned at Exeter Police station, before being released pending investigation.

He then received a letter from the Devon and Cornwall Police, which informed the father-of-four that he would not be charged.

Mr Chamberlain sought to take legal action “after failing to receive an adequate apology or an assurance the incident would be removed from the police national computer.”

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “We have taken steps to recognise and rectify the issues raised.”

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Mr Chamberlain has now received notice of the £5,000 damages destined for him.

Shops like Tesco and banks are not compelled to accept large denomination coins.

Tesco said it will not accept commemorative coins because they are not considered circulating legal tender, according to the Sun.

Royal Mind legal tender guidelines state that “although the silver UK coins we produce in denominations of £5, £20, £50 and £100 are approved as legal tender, they have been designed as limited edition collectables or gifts.”

This means that they “will not be entering general circulation.

“As such, UK shops and banks are unlikely to accept them.”

In the UK, if a person has attempted to pay with legal tender, they cannot be sued for a debt owed.

Different parts of the UK have varying rules on legal tender for payment.

In England and Wales, £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes are legal tender to pay for any amount.

This does not apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

By law, a shop also doesn’t have to accept payment in 1p or 2ps for anything over the value of 20p, or 50ps for anything over £10.

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