BLACK pudding from the Queen’s butcher in Ballater was used by a trapped pensioner to batter his way out of a walk-in-freezer.

70-year-old Devon butcher Chris McCabe saw his life flash before his eyes when the wind blew the door of his -20C meat store shut.

As he tried to get out he discovered, to his horror, that the release button on the inner door was frozen solid.

Knowing he had just 30 minutes until he would freeze to death, the septuagenarian meat monger searched for something to help him smash open the lock.

The lamb was too big and the beef didn’t afford enough grip, and McCabe had all but given up hope of survival when his eyes alighted on a 1.5kg black pudding from HM Sheridan of Bridge Street in Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

As he lifted the blood sausage above his head, his mind turned to thoughts of police using battering rams to break down doors.

The black pudding, was the perfect size, weight and diameter.

With just minutes to spare, he took the pudding and, after three attempts, managed to smash open the door of the freezer, finally escaping to freedom.

McCabe told the press: “Black pudding saved my life, without a doubt.

“No-one could hear me banging because it is outside, round the back of the shop. The black pudding was the best thing to hit the button with because it was the right shape. I used it like the police use battering rams to break door locks in, that’s what I did with the black pudding.

“It was solid, pointed and I could get plenty of weight behind it. I’m lucky really, we sell about two or three each week and that was the last one in there.”

He added: “I had rushed in, I was in a hurry as usual and I heard the door shut behind me, I thought that was ok because I could kick the safety button from inside.

“I’ve been shut in before and I used the button to get out then, but this time it was frozen solid.

“I removed all the metal racking around it and I looked around for some thing to hit it with and I came on the idea of using a black pudding stick. I managed to get in a position to bash the button a few times until the ice broke and the door opened.”

Barry Florence from HM Sheridan said the firm was “absolutely delighted” to “play a small part in saving this man’s life”. He said it was the first time he had heard his black pudding, which he supplies to the Queen and the Prince of Wales being used to batter a door down.

“We only use the finest Scottish ingredients. That might make it harder,” Florence said.