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People divided after police officer confronts bloke for trying to pay for petrol with £100 coin

Rhiannon Ingle

| Last updated 

People divided after police officer confronts bloke for trying to pay for petrol with £100 coin

Driving down to your local petrol station, inhaling the fumes and forking out a small fortune for your fuel seems to be a fairly regular thing we all partake in.

However, one bloke really switched the monotonous task up when he tried to pay for his petrol with an £100 coin.

After the coin was refused by a Tesco store in Exeter, the man wound up getting in a verbal altercation with a police officer who rocked up to the scene to try and sort the financial fiasco out. Take a look at part of the bizarre interaction here:



The exchange was filmed in July 2020 by the driver Brett Chamberlain and subsequently posted to TikTok with the overlay text that explained he was 'trying to pay with a 100 pound coin' and that 'there [are] some weirdos out there'.

In the clip, the police officer can be heard explaining: "Okay, this is what's going to happen [...] As I said to you, the shop does not have to accept it just because it is legal tender.

"You said it's legal tender. You are correct. However it is a commemorative coin on the internet, they're worth about 20 quid."

He went on: "So here's what is going to happen. Either you are going to pay for your fuel correctly or you are going to fill out the civil recovery form so that you can arrange to make payments at a later date.


"Or I'm going to arrest you for bilking."

The officer explained bilking means 'making off without payment'.

The police office got in a dispute with a motorist who tried to pay for petrol with an £100 coin. Credit: TikTok/@j.c.soloman123
The police office got in a dispute with a motorist who tried to pay for petrol with an £100 coin. Credit: TikTok/@j.c.soloman123

"You have gotten to the point where payment is due, you're now refusing to make payment, therefore, I will treat it as a criminal offence. So how would you wish to proceed at this point?" he asked.


Chamberlain then responded: "Well, um, I have got means to pay. So I'm not going to fill out a civil recovery form."

He then explained he would pay with the coin but the officer reiterated it was not 'legal tender' that the shop would accept.

"You have offered a form of payment that they will not accept," the officer added.

Chamberlain replied: "Well, if you arrest me it will be a wrongful arrest."


"It's not, it's a lawful arrest," the officer stated, "because I've explained the situation."

The interaction went on for about 10 minutes and has since taken the internet by storm after clocking up more than 135k views in just a day since it was first posted to the platform, with dozens upon dozens of comments from people eager to weigh in on the situation.

Many people rushed in to praise the police officer, with one TikTok user writing: "The officer is 100% correct. The £100 coin is commemorative and not in due red fended circulation. The proprietor can legally refuse it."

Credit: TikTok/@j.c.soloman123
Credit: TikTok/@j.c.soloman123

"Perfectly handled by the police officer," penned a second. "My problem is these people going out to cause dramas, wasting police time."

"I mean the cop isn't wrong," echoed a third, "a shop doesn't have to accept. For example Scottish money is legal tender but in my shop we don't accept it."

Others, however, seemed to side with the bloke, with one TikTok user offering a definition for the noun 'legal tender', explaining: "Currency in specified denominations that a creditor must by law accept in redemption of a debt."

A final TikTok user added: "He is being a pain by paying with this coin but at the end of the day it is legal tender so driver is in the right."

Well, Chamberlain ended up being arrested for 'making off without payment'.

No charges were brought against him and when Chamberlain took civil action he was awarded £5,000 in compensation by Devon and Cornwall police.

His solicitor said: "Mr Chamberlain shouldn’t have had to explain the contents of the UK Coinage Act to the UK’s biggest retailer, nor law and legislation to a police officer."

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall police said at the time: “We have taken steps to recognise and rectify the issues raised in this case.”

Tesco said in a statement: "Although commemorative coins are classified as legal tender, they are not considered to be circulating legal tender – which must be accepted in businesses and banks.

"For this reason, retailers are not obliged to accept them as a form of payment - it is at their discretion and our Tesco Exeter Vale store decided not to accept commemorative coins."

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@j.c.soloman123

Topics: UK News, Money, TikTok

Rhiannon Ingle
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