A MAN was arrested in a petrol station forecourt after staff refused his payment - with a £100 COIN.

In July last year Brett Chamberlain, who is from Tiverton, filled up with £60 of fuel at a Tesco petrol station in Exeter.

But when he went to pay for his fuel, staff at the branch refused to accept the £100 coin.

Brett was left with no other way to pay the bill, so staff called the police and he was eventually arrested on suspicion of 'making off without payment' - despite not leaving the forecourt and discussing the matter with police. 

He was arrested and taken to an Exeter police station for four hours.

Now, he has been awarded £5,000 in damages after threatening to take Devon and Cornwall Police to court, claiming wrongful arrest.

Solicitor Iain Gould, who represented Brett in the matter, said: "The manager of the petrol station refused to accept payment in this form, despite the fact that there was no notice or advertisement on the fuel pumps warning potential customers that certain denominations of otherwise legal tender would not be accepted in payment of the goods being offered for sale, i.e. the petrol/diesel fuel.

"The manager of the petrol station refused to accept payment by way of Brett’s £100 coin and instead called the police.

"It was ridiculous that this chain of events had gone so far," he added. 

"We can look at this case from the negative angle of what a shameful waste of public money it was by the police to have both arrested Brett in the manner they did, and then failed to apologise when first given the opportunity to do so."

Tesco said it was within its rights not to accept the payment, as it is not considered 'circulating' legal tender.

But Mr Gould added: "After all, the police swear an oath to well and truly serve the Queen whose head is on our coins, not to Tesco PLC."