Naked rambling and Lambrini: the work of the inferior courts
Scotland's sheriff courts also opened 2010 with a bang, dealing firmly with long-time customer the Naked Rambler and ruling authoritatively that the perry concoction known as Lambrini is not a sparkling wine.
The more interesting case, decided by Scots Law News' old university chum Sheriff George Way at Dundee Sheriff Court, is the Lanbrini one. A Dundee wedding venue (Mains Castle) served Lambrini at a wedding reception where sparkling wine had been ordered for toasts to the bride and groom at £3.60 per glass. The Lambrini had been purchased from a cash-and-carry at £1.35 per bottle, each bottle yielding six glasses (22.5p per glass for the (surely few) arithmetically challenged amongst our readers). The bottles carried a label describing the contents as a "slightly sparkling perry" and as having an alcohol content of 7.5% by volume. Sheriff Way, a wine buff of many years' standing, declared in an authoritative ruling that Lambrini was "frankly an inferior product" and awarded the bride's father (who of course was the funder of the whole show) £324 damages for brach of contract, plus £50 for the general disappointment caused.
Scots Law News has not seen the judgement, and wonders whether the £50 was only for the father's disappointment, or whether bride and groom, and perhaps other members of the party, were recognised as having a claim by way of the jus quaesitum tertio. If so, was £50 enough?
The Naked Rambler case was simply a repeat of a now well-worn (is that the right adjective?) story. The Rambler finished his last jail sentence on 17 December 2009, left Perth prison en deshabille, was arrested by waiting representatives of Tayside Police and appeared (still naked) in Perth Sheriff Court on 11 January 2010, charged with breach of the peace. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis (another old university mate) remanded our hero in custody, an offer of bail if he would dress and go home to Hampshire having been declined. Sheriff Foulis pointed out that there was every chance of the Rambler spending the rest of his life behind bars if the refusal to be clad continued. And there the matter rests.