A BENSON butcher has been awarded four medals and the accolade of best overall sausage in a competition.

Gary Smith, 43, was awarded two golds and two silvers in the Three Counties Sausage and Pie contest for butchers in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.

His spicy Cumberland sausage and pork and chive variety received silver medals from a panel of four judges of industry professionals. His pork and leek bangers were given a gold award, along with his traditional pork sausage, which was also named best overall sausage.

More than 30 butchers took part in the contest at the Swan at Streatley. There were also categories for hot and cold meat pies.

Mr Smith, of Wallingford, entered his sausages in the competition for the first time last year but came away empty-handed. “I overcooked them and it cost me dearly,” he said. “This year, I knew what I had to do and I got it right. I was hoping to get one gold medal so to get the overall award was a very nice surprise.”

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