6 December 1999
Beef-bone rebels face court
By FWi staff
TWO beef-on-the-bone ban rebels face court action in the next two days, although the ban has now been lifted.
Alan Coomber, landlord of the Bell Inn in Iden, near Rye, East Sussex, appears before magistrates today (Monday) on two counts of selling an illegal substance over his refusal to stop serving T-bone steaks two years ago.
The 53-year-old has continued openly defying the ban ever since.
And the prosecution of Scottish hotelier Jim Sutherland for serving beef-on-the-bone almost two years ago is to proceed.
Mr Sutherlands Carfraemill hotel in the Borders was the venue for a “prohibition dinner” attended by 170 farmers.
Tomorrow Mr Sutherlands lawyers will argue at the High Court in Edinburgh that there is no case to answer.
Mr Sutherlands lawyer, David Kidd, said: “We are appealing against the ruling made by Sheriff Paterson in November 1998 that Jim had a case to answer. That appeal is due to be heard in Edinburgh on Tuesday, December 7.”
“In the meantime we remain firm and resolved to maintain our defence all the way. It is entirely up to the Crown now to decide what course of action it will take — whether to continue or abandon the case.
Last Tuesday, agriculture minister Nick Brown lifted the two-year ban introduced due to fears that BSE. could be transmitted to human via cattle bones.
Under the Beef Bones Regulations of November 1997, anyone selling T-bone steaks, beef ribs or oxtail was liable to prosecution.