David Yorke, a Chartered Accountant from Nottingham is today beginning a three-year prison sentence after causing ‘quite a kerfuffle’ at his local branch of Waitrose last July.

Prosecuting Yorke on behalf of The Crown, Quentin Abernathy QC, told a harrowing tale of how the defendant had been browsing one Sunday morning at 9.45 (all perfectly legally within the allowed browsing half-hour before tills opened at 10.00 am when business could be transacted) when things took an ugly turn.

Said Mr Abernathy: ‘At approximately nine fifty-nine and thirty-four seconds Yorke took his basket of bread rolls, a container of milk and a jar of coffee to the checkout which was manned by part-time student Paul Wilkins. There then followed an altercation when Yorke was asked to stand and wait for twenty-six seconds before the till could be legally activated.’

Speaking from the witness box and conducting his own defence Yorke said: ‘I deeply regret my actions on the day. I just lost it after being made wait a few seconds. But honestly come on, Your Honour, I mean what the fuck would have happened had I been served slightly before ten?’

‘I mean, would the fucking world have stopped turning? Would God have appeared above till number 12 and struck me down dead with a fucking lightning bolt. This so-called pedantic shop-opening law needs fucking changing. It’s a fucking, fucking FUCKING JOKE!!!!!’

Dismissing the original charge but sentencing Yorke for contempt of court Mr Justice Featherstone said: ‘I can understand your frustration as indeed just recently I have had occasion to be thwarted similarly when buying a haunch of venison for Sunday lunch in the very same shop.’

‘However your continued failure to retract and apologise for your dreadful language leaves me with no alternative to commit you to prison. Three years at Her Majesty’s pleasure may help you contemplate your somewhat fiery temper and its serious consequences. Take him down!’