BUSINESSES are being warned to ensure they have a valid TV Licence after a pub landlord was fined hundreds of pounds for being caught without one.
Peter Edge, owner of the Kings Head in Sudbury, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with using a TV without a licence on a business premises.
On finding Mr Edge guilty of the offence at the pub in Ballingdon Street, magistrates fined him £250 and ordered him to pay £150 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Following the hearing Pauline Gillingham, a TV Licensing spokeswoman for the South East, said all businesses that show television, as it is being broadcast, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV Licence.
“Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000,” she said.
“Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence or they could face a second prosecution.”
Mrs Gillingham said that over 1,000 business across the country were caught watching TV without a licence last year and it was important for businesses reputations to stay on the right side of the law and avoid cost cutting in this manner.
“We appreciate these are tough times for businesses, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally,” she said. “Those businesses who do try to get away with it might find the price of being caught to be higher than just a fine.
“We would rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted.”
For more information about TV licensing or to buy a valid licence visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/business.