Errington cheesemaker demands £400,000 compensation from Scots council

A cheese maker has demanded a council pay him almost £400,000 in compensation after they lost a battle to condemn his products.

Humphrey Errington has been told he can sell his cheese again after winning a lengthy fight with South Lanarkshire Council. Picture: Neil Hanna

Humphrey Errington, 74, has been told he can sell his cheese again after winning a lengthy fight with South 
Lanarkshire Council, which wanted them declared unsafe to eat.

The council called for his goods to be destroyed following an E.coli outbreak that claimed the life of a young girl.

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But Sheriff Robert Weir ruled Errington Cheese did not breach safety standards and has now officially lifted an order stopping their Lanark Blue and Corra Linn being sold.

A civil hearing at Hamilton Sheriff Court heard one batch of Lanark Blue and three Corra Linn will be destroyed but the remaining items can be put on the market.

The council confirmed they would not appeal the decision of a case that has already cost Errington £350,000 and the taxpayer £500,000.

The firm now has to wait for a ruling on expenses and say they estimate the figure owed to them is £380,000.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Errington said he hoped to be able to complete a customer order for the remaining Corra Linn but that the Lanark Blue had to be disposed of.

He said: “The sheriff does seem to have some degree of sympathy towards us on the issue of expenses given the public interest in the case both from a council point of view and our own.

“It is a relief that they are not going to appeal the judgement and all that that would have entailed.

“We had letters from the council that did seem to suggest an appeal was coming and that was a great worry for us.

“It still leaves a lot of questions to be answered like what is the position of Food Standards Scotland given they seem to be refusing to accept the judgement by still having everything about the case on their website.

“The other cheese that they took is too ripe for us so we’re not really interested in but the Cora Linn is still sitting there.”

A South Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “The council will fully comply with the order from the sheriff who has indicated he will make a written decision on expenses within seven days.”

A range of Errington products are made from unpasteurised milk on their farm in Carnwath, Lanarkshire.

The Crown Office said there would be no criminal proceedings because of a lack of evidence linking Errington to the death of the girl from Dunbartonshire.