A two-year legal battle costing thousands of pounds, which began when a supermarket checkout girl undercharged a customer 15 cents for a bunch of bananas, finally ended in Britain's High Court.

The judge, Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, called the case "ludicrous, appalling and disgraceful.""It really is an appalling state of affairs that time has been taken up in this absolutely piffling case. This is a storm in a teacup and a waste of public money," she said.

The case, which ended Wednesday, began when undercover trading-standards officials started buying bananas from Deborah Snape, a checkout worker at a supermarket in Manchester, in northern England, after customers complained of erratic pricing.

When officials tried to question Snape after being both undercharged and overcharged on separate occasions, she said her bosses had told her to say nothing. She was charged with obstructing the officials and convicted, although no penalties were imposed.