A High Wycombe man who sparked a High Court legal battle over a beer can filled with carrot juice but lost has been back in court for the original crime.

Alex Snowball, 33, admitted being “deliberately awkward” when police officers saw him drinking from a beer can in Frogmoor in the town centre on December 20, 2018.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was in place in a bid to tackle the ongoing blight of anti-social behaviour in the town centre – meaning anyone seen drinking alcohol or being in possession of an open container of alcohol could be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN).

He was given an FPN by police, but he then poured out the contents of the can, to show officers it was actually carrot juice inside and not alcohol.

Although officers then realised it was not alcohol after all, they argued he had still committed a crime - but Mr Snowball refused to pay the fine and went before Wycombe Magistrates charged with refusing to comply.

The district judge sided with Mr Snowball but the then-Wycombe District Council was not happy with this, appealing the decision in the High Court.

In July, High Court judges agreed that what Mr Snowball was drinking at the time was not alcohol, but said the alcohol did not need to be present for a crime to be committed – only that the PC had a “reasonable belief” that it was booze.

The decision to back the district council left Mr Snowball fearing he could be convicted for the original crime and liable to pay thousands in costs, saying at the time he was homeless and could not afford it.

Mr Snowball appeared at Wycombe Magistrates Court again on August 19 for failing to comply with a requirement imposed on him by Wycombe District Council to surrender a can that was thought to be alcohol.

He was given a conditional discharge for six months – meaning he will not be sentenced if he does not commit a further crime in that time period.

He was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim services surcharge of £21.