It’s been a bad week for…

A pound of spuds, which will land a Sunderland greengrocer in court. Steven Thoburn is the first trader to be prosecuted for continuing to use pounds and ounces to serve customers. The market stall owner refused to use the metric system which is a requirement under European law. After allegedly ignoring a warning to switch to the “new” system, which the 36-year-old would have been taught in school, two policemen raided his stall and confiscated his offending scales. He is being backed by the UK Independence Party.

Nomura, which was ordered to pay a bonus of £1.35m to a sacked trader. Justice Burton said Nomura’s refusal to pay the bonus after the bank sacked Steven Clark was “perverse and irrational”. Clark was sacked after Nomura claimed he had spread rumours about colleagues, criticised management, and dressed inappropriately. Nomura decided not to pay the bonus because as Clark had been sacked, he did not need the long-term incentive.

Bedside manners, as the family of a taxi driver who died after his heart operation was cancelled was awarded £2,500 as a “nuisance payment”. David Cason died after the third date for a triple bypass operation was cancelled and his wife Lynne was offered the payment as compensation. A spokesman from the hospital explained that the term “nuisance payment” was a legal one, but that it was horrified the term had been used on its behalf.

Prison chiefs, who could be under fire from prisoners bringing cases under the new Human Rights Act. Sir David Ramsbotham, Chief Inspector of Prisons, speaking at the Howard League for Penal Reform conference, predicted that there will be cases from prisoners challenging a lot of the basic routines in prisons, including access to phone calls and fresh air, or having to use toilets without a screen in shared cells.

Punch, which “blatantly and internationally” flouted an injunction against publishing information supplied by former MI5 officer David Shayler. Last week, High Court judge Justice Silber heard the contempt action against the magazine owned by Mohamed Al Fayed. It was claimed that Punch had not gained clearance from the Attorney-General, which is required by law, on an article by Shayler which contained confidential information.

Marjorie Evans, the headteacher cleared of slapping a 10-year-old boy, who is now faced with new accusations. It was claimed that a brother and sister aged nine and 10 were tied together by rope during a sponsored walk. However, their mother has said that she saw nothing wrong with the practice as they were only “lightly tied” with a skipping rope and does not want any action to be taken against the headteacher.