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Friday, 25 October, 2002, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
Sauce row turns customer to crime
HP Sauce bottles
The row started over a claim HP Sauce was used
An angry customer tried to break into a pub just to prove the chef had used HP Sauce instead of a home-made chilli dressing, a court heard.

Maxwell James, 37, of Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, was desperate to prove the meal served to his wife at the Illchester Arms in his home village had contained the sauce.

Armed with a hammer and dressed in a combat jacket, balaclava and black gloves, James returned to break into the premises but instead found himself arrested by police.

James ended up pleading guilty to criminal damage, being given a six-month conditional discharge by Weymouth magistrates on Thursday and being ordered to pay 50 compensation and 25 costs.

Stormed out

After the hearing, James said: "I wish I had gone the next day and actually talked to the chef one-on-one rather than doing what I did."

The sauce row started at the pub on 10 October when James and his wife, both professional chefs, disputed the authenticity of the chilli sauce which was served with his wife's fish cakes.

Infuriated by the situation, the couple stormed out of the pub, only for James to return after several hours and a couple of drinks, the court heard.

After damaging a door but failing to break in, he gave up the plan - only to be arrested moments later.

The argument over whether brown sauce was served or not has never been solved as the pub has since changed hands.

But new manager Natalie Reel promised that only fresh dishes would be served at the pub.

She said: "We have got a brand new menu with all fresh sauces - we will be making sure there will be no brown sauce served."


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09 Mar 99 | Entertainment
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