Case Dismissed: 10 Most Bizarre UK Court Cases | The Daily Dust delivering the best bric a brac, daily news and events with a British flavour


The court of law is thought to be a rational place, but we’ve uncovered some of the most bizarre court cases that have ever graced the UK courts.

10. Toy car

Cathy McGowan was thrilled when she won a competition on the local radio. She answered the question on Radio Buxton to win a Renault Clio, but, when she arrived at the local radio station, she was presented with a toy car. The radio station was ordered to pay ?8,000 as the judge ruled they had entered into a legally binding agreement.

9. Sex rations

In 1980, three judges, Lord Justice Ormrod, Lord Justice Dunn and Mr Justice Arnold ruled that a woman who rationed sex with her husband to once per week was behaving reasonably. Tell that to her husband!

8. Pineapple head

Policewoman, Tracey Ormsby, was hit with a pineapple and then tried to claim ?1.5m in damages. She was later awarded ?3,000. The judge later said of Ms Ormsby “I consider at best there is a very considerable degree of exaggeration in her account of her disabilities.”

7. Pringles are not crisps

Proctor & Gamble, makers of Pringles crisps saved millions of pounds on VAT after the UK High Court ruled the product is not a crisp. As Pringles aren?t officially crisp they are exempt from the 17.5% tax that applies to “potato crisps, potato sticks, potato puffs and similar products made from the potato, or from potato flour, or from potato starch” defined in the 1994 VAT Act. Now we need the High Court to decide once and for all if Jaffa Cakes are a cake or a biscuit?

credit: flickr/thechorompys

6. Mole Man

A man who spent 40 years building a labyrinth of tunnels underneath his home was ordered to pay ?300,000 in damages to Hackney Council.

5. Deathstar vs the little guy

A judge ruled that British prop designer, Andrew Ainsworth, could carry on selling replica Star Wars stormtrooper outfits in the UK despite going up against Star Wars creator George Lucas in a row over copyright. We?re guessing that even Lucas wouldn?t have made a fuss over any Ja Ja Binx outfits being sold without his permission.

4. An Inconvenient Lie

The UK High Court ruled that schools must warn children watching Al Gore?s film, ?An Inconvenient Truth? that it promotes ?partisan political views?. Never mind the warning about promoting partisan views, just make sure it carries the warning ?may induce boredom?

3. Virgin Ring

[Insert own gag here]. A schoolgirl lost her fight to wear a virginity ring as a sign of Christian faith. Lydia Playfoot, 16, wasn?t allowed to wear the ring as it was against school regulations.

2. He really is dead ? look

A mother brought her sons ashes into court to prove he was dead after the DVLA continued to send letters addressed to her dead son two years after his death. Julie Strange, had sent her son?s death certificate to the DVLA, but they issued a court summons. Ms Strange took her son?s ashes into the court room and the prosecution was immediately dropped.

1. Chopping meat too loudly

A butcher appeared before a magistrates court after being accused of repeated breaches of a noise abatement order. Brian Clapton was told that he had to stop chopping meat between 6am to 8am after the council received complaints from a neighbour.

Noise and nuisance officer Timothy Jones (is that even a real job), said: ‘sounded like someone was carrying out shop refurbishment, such was the sound in the complainant’s flat’.

Have we missed any other bizarre court cases in the UK? Let us know in the comment section below.

6 Comments

  1. re number 7. Jaffa Cakes did have their day in court for exactly the same reason as pringles.
    They were found to be cakes. A special giant size jaffa cake was made to demonstrate that they just small cakes instead of “fancy biscuits” (which would have been charged VAT)

  2. Wow and I thought the US had its share of kangaroo courts! LOL

    Kiff
    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  3. Anything by lord denning about cricket. It’s a manly sport doncha know.

  4. I read about the pringles thing the other day. that is so funny and bizarre. It’d be like saying cigs are atmosphere enhancers

  5. My brother (Paul Thatcher) got taken to court for stealing a teabag, when he was homeless, to make himself a cup of tea.

  6. You can find tons of bizarre crimes at the website http://www.oldbaileyonline.org. Its fascinating. These are all the proceedings from court hearings on criminal trials from 1690-1772 at the Old Bailey. you can search the type of crime, verdict, punishment and time period.

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