I must warn that the following is not for the fainthearted and it could be argued that a story full of maggoty rot has no place in a wholesome food magazine. However, this is what Subhash Patel has had to contend with in his Choc Box store in Chessington, Surrey. And the maggoty rot is on one of his customers.

"He is about 60 and half his head is rotting," says Subhash. "One ear has disappeared and it looks like maggots. He also smells very bad. One of my other customers ran out retching."

The customer buys only The Telegraph on a Friday, but lurks around the store in a somewhat menacing way. Subhash's staff generally pull a disappearing act.

Subhash consulted his environmental health officer, who gave him what I think is duff advice. "The officer said to get my solicitor to write to him and say on which grounds he was banned."

You don't have to have grounds. Customers are invited to shop with you and they can be uninvited. If they are unruly, underaged, unkempt - you can ban.

Subhash was worried, though. He had read a story about a security guard asking a customer to leave a Tesco Metro branch because other customers had complained that she was whiffy. The customer herself, a horsewoman, said it was just "eau de horse". Subhash thought he had read that she had sued and won. I was able to reassure him, after consulting Tesco's press office, that the customer didn't sue - she just made a fuss in the Daily Mail.

As the man was menacing I advised Subhash to invite his beat bobby, with whom he gets along well, to drop by during the customer's usual mid-afternoon visit to back up the ban.

The good news is that his bobby has now given him a special number to ring if and when the man reappears.

Topics