7 December 1999
Scots beef-on-bone case dropped
By Donald MacPhail
THE case against Scottish beef-on-the-bone rebel Jim Sutherland has been dropped after an appeal by his lawyers arguing that he had no case to answer.
Following the case before three appeal-court judges at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday (7 December), the Crown renounced all rights to prosecute the matter any further. It said it would instruct the Procurator Fiscal to that effect.
The appeal was heard by Lord Cullen, Lord Coulsfield and Lord Abernethy. The Crown was represented by Advocate Depute Graham Bell QC and Mr Sutherland by Advocate Michael Upton, instructed by lawyers Biggart Baillie.
Mr Sutherland said afterwards: “Im delighted at the outcome. This has cost me a lot of money but I have absolutely no regrets. Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is.”
Mr Sutherland cracked open a bottle of champagne when he emerged from the courtroom, but poured into the gutter when he realised it was French.
He said he was boycotting French produce while it continued its ban on British beef.
Mr Sutherland was charged with serving beef-on-the-bone almost two years ago at a “prohibition dinner” attended by 170 farmers at his hotel in Carfraemill, the Borders
Last Tuesday, agriculture minister Nick Brown lifted the two-year ban introduced due to fears that BSE. could be transmitted to humans via cattle bones.
Under the Beef Bones Regulations of November 1997, anyone selling T-bone steaks, beef ribs or oxtail was liable to prosecution.