Fish monger Laura Le Provost appeared in court this week charged with selling fish above the prices set by Jersey’s Food Commission. Despite her claims it was all just a mix-up, the Bailiff imposed a heavy fine, saying the island had too much of this type of extortion presently.
The complaint came from the Constable of St Martin who visited the Fish Market to buy some conger. Mrs Le Provost told him it was 9d per pound, which the Constable knew was above the maximum permitted price of 7d. He subsequently informed St Helier’s constable who after interviewing the fish monger, charged her with breaking wartime price controls.
In court, Mrs Le Provost claimed the Constable of St Martin had misunderstood her prices, that she was quoting for a conger steak not the per pound price. Additionally, her lawyer asserted, because the sale had not actually taken place, no crime was committed.
The Attorney General dismissed this defence, however, noting that fish mongers are known to be constantly trying to obtain higher prices than those permitted by the Food Commission. The Bailiff agreed, handing down a five pound fine and charging for costs.
A/E/10/2 contains wartime documents on Jersey’s Food Commission, its establishment and lists of fixed price goods.