Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.




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Monday, 2 December 2013

SKY T.V., PUBS AND ITS PROSECUTION POLICY



British Sky Broadcasting is becoming increasingly litigious concerning the transmission of sporting events at pubs by licensees who are out of their Sky contract or who have no contract at all.  I sat on such a case about six months ago.  It was difficult not to have a smidgeon of sympathy for the landlord who, single handed with his wife,  was failing in his attempts to keep profitable a long established public house in an area that is now bereft of regular trade. He was found guilty and the fine and costs were not unlikely to have forced him to close the business and get what he could for his remaining leasehold interest.  So it was with interest that the following came to my attention.

Last year a Plymouth publican was acquitted by local magistrates of showing domestic Sky T.V. without a commercial contract.  However on appeal at the High Court that judgement was overturned.  He was conditionally discharged with costs of £850.  It appears that this case is not ended. 

By all accounts Sky is currently operating a policy of prosecuting all those pubs suspected of  showing its content without a commercial contract.  Of course every case must be decided on the evidence presented but personally I will attempt to set aside a few brain cells to remember this one.

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