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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 14:05 GMT
Funeral service for Metric Martyr
Steven Thoburn
Steven Thoburn died of a heart attack
Wearside greengrocer Steven Thoburn, who became known as the Metric Martyr, has been laid to rest.

The 39-year-old Sunderland father-of-three died suddenly from a suspected heart attack on 14 March.

His coffin was taken to the funeral in a horse-drawn hearse as hundreds of mourners filled St Benet's Church, in Roker to pay their respects.

Mr Thoburn was convicted for selling goods on his stall in the city only in imperial measures in 2001.

Father Charles Corrigan paid tribute to Mr Thoburn.

He repeated the greengrocer's famous quote about the birth of his son Jay in March 2002 who he announced weighed 3,796 grams - 8lb 3.5oz.

'Loved work'

At the time Mr Thoburn said: "No-one I spoke to had a clue if he was the size of a baby elephant or a small tomato."

Father Corrigan said: "He loved his work and was genuinely interested in his customers and this guided the way he led his life."

Mr Thoburn's name became known after his scales were seized from his market stall by Trading Standards officers who caught him selling bananas by the pound.

It triggered a legal battle in which he was joined by four other traders - from London, Cornwall and Surrey - to fight European regulations requiring food traders to sell produce in metric measurements.

Their legal battle was funded through the Metric Martyr Defence Fund, raised from donations by the public.

The group's appeals against conviction were rejected all the way up to the House of Lords and this February, by the European Court of Human Rights.

Fellow campaigners have vowed to continue the fight to sell imperial measures, in his name.

'Metric Martyrs' lose appeal
24 Feb 04  |  Cornwall

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