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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 20:20 GMT
'Metric martyrs' wait for ruling
Steven Thoburn, right with friend Neil Herron
Traders want to carry on selling in imperial measures
The British Weights and Measures Association (BWMA) has spoken out in support of five market traders who want to continue selling goods in pounds and ounces.

The traders are waiting to learn whether they have won their High Court appeal against convictions and fines for selling fruit and vegetables in imperial measures.

Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Crane reserved their judgement and it will be a few weeks before their ruling is given.

In a statement on Friday the BWMA said it is "confident that they will have to declare that the 1985 Weights and Measures Act is still the law of the land."

Existing convictions

The Act, which the prosecution have argued was amended to comply with European Community directives, permitted the use of both metric and imperial measures.

The traders, who have become known as the "metric martyrs" are from London, Surrey, Wearside and Cornwall.

During the three day hearing in London, 200 protesters waved placards and banners supporting the retention of imperial measures.

Steven Thoburn, from Sunderland, was fined for selling bananas by the pound.

John Dove, of Camelford, Cornwall, was ordered to pay court costs for selling mackerel at 1.50 a pound and Julian Harman, also of Camelford, was ordered to pay costs for selling Brussels sprouts by the pound.

Colin Hunt, of Hackney, east London, was given a 12-month conditional discharge for pricing pumpkins and other vegetables by the pound.

Trader Peter Collins, of Sutton, Surrey, had his licence revoked for selling in imperial measures.

See also:

20 Nov 01 | England
Judge weighs up case for pounds
11 Oct 01 | England
'Metric martyrs' haggle for review
13 Jul 01 | UK
Grocer loses metric battle
31 Dec 99 | UK
Measure for measure
29 Dec 99 | UK
Shops weigh up changes
15 Jan 01 | UK
Grocer fights metric laws
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