Ridley Road Market's metrically-challenged patrons can breathe a sigh of relief: one of its fruit and veg sellers has avoided incarceration for using imperial scales, after she was given a conditional discharge for breaking the Weights and Measures act.
Janet Devers, 64, had been making a one-woman stand against the metric system by still weighing her veg in pounds and ounces, when Hackney Council swooped and confiscated her weighing equipment. Magistrates decided she was guilty as charged - though she was cleared of 'selling sweetcorn without a unit price' – a felony still technically punishable by death in the British Isles.*
Given the range of crime being committed at any one time in Hackney, it is certainly surprising that the council decided to prosecute Ms Devers: One would imagine that a slap on the wrist and a short 'decimal awareness training' course would have sufficed.
A final interesting aspect of the case will be how the Daily Mail treats the news. A felon is back on the streets with no punishment; but she was sticking two fingers up to Europe. So does that make her a goody or a baddy? Londonists eagerly awaits the verdict in tomorrow's paper.
*May not technically be true.