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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

In Court With TV Licensing: Back at North Tyneside Magistrates


Adee, who we mentioned yesterday, has very kindly sent us his notes from his day observing TV Licensing court cases.

You might remember that he attended North Tyneside Magistrates' Court last Thursday, 19th September 2013. All of TV Licensing's prosecution cases in the Northumbria local justice area (Northumberland and Tyne & Wear) are dealt with by this court, which is situated in the riverside fishing town of North Shields. TV Licensing cases are heard every Thursday, both morning and afternoon sessions.

The same Capita Court Presenter as before, who we dubbed Hagrid's evil twin sister, was acting on their behalf. We have just confirmed that her name is Helen Robson.

Adee's observations are given below. It was a very busy day, so he did very well to keep up with proceedings:

1. Defendant was male. He attended the hearing in person, which happens only rarely. He had moved into the property only 4 weeks prior to being caught. After discussion outside with the Capita Court Presenter he decided to plead guilty.
Outcome: Fine (F) £65; Victim Surcharge (VS) £20; Costs (C) £90.

2. Defendant was male. He was caught as the result of a search warrant execution (an exceptionally rare event). He obviously has a sense of humour, as he told the court his occupation was avoiding TV Licensing people.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £120.

3. Defendant was female. She is a single mother in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

4. Defendant was male. He denies answering the door when the goon visited. He also said that the signature on the TVL178, which was purportedly his, actually wasn't. A potentially interesting case, but sadly no further details were noted.
Outcome: Not guilty.

5. Defendant was male. The case was reopened due to him moving address and not being aware of the original summons. Pleaded guilty by post.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

6. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 months.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

7. Defendant was female. She attended the hearing in person and pleaded not guilty on the basis that she had previously set up a standing order to pay her licence fee. TV Licensing do not accept standing orders, so the payment failed. After discussion outside with the Capita Court Presenter she changed her plea to guilty. Has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £57.50; VS £20; C £90.

8. Defendant was female. She works as a support worker.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

9. Defendant was female. She is a housewife and pleaded guilty by post.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

10. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 8 months. Has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £100; VS £20; C £90.

11. Defendant was male. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

12. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 weeks. She is a single parent.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

13. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

14. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 5 months. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

15. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 6 months. The Magistrates wanted additional information about her husband's income.
Outcome: F £104; VS £20; C £90.

16. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 months.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

17. Defendant was male. Pleaded guilty by post.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

18. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 6 months.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

19. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

20. Defendant was male. Pleaded guilty by post. He is in receipt of benefits. Has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £250; VS £25; C £90

21. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 months. She is a single parent.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

22. Defendant was female. She works as a retail assistant and has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £300; VS £30; C £105.

23. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 day. She had set up a payment plan, but defaulted on the payments.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

24. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 7 months. He is unemployed and has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £110; VS £20; C £90.

25. Defendant was male. Pleaded not guilty on the basis that his equipment was unable to receive TV programmes. Told the court he did not use his broadband connection to watch TV programmes online. After some whispering between the Capita Court Presenter and Court Legal Advisor he was found not guilty. Another interesting case, because presumably the evidence against him was patchy to say the least.
Outcome: Not guilty.

26. Defendant was female. She works as a retail assistant.
Outcome: F £200; VS £30; C £90.

27. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of more than 6 months. She is a single parent.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

28. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 weeks. She is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

29. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 weeks. She is a housewife.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

30. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

31. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 7 weeks. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

32. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 6 months. She is pregnant with her second child and currently not working.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

33. Defendant was male. Pleaded guilty by post. He is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55.70; VS £20; C £90.

34. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

35. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 months. She is in receipt of benefits and has been convicted of the same offence four times previously.
Outcome: F £137.50; VS £20; C £90.

36. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 months. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

37. Defendant was male. Court told that he is currently on long-term sick leave from work.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

38. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

39. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 5 days. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

40. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 months. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

41. Defendant was male. The court is told that he works part-time.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

42. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 weeks. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

43. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 months. She is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

44. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

45. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 6 months. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

46. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

47. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. She is in receipt of benefits and has been convicted of the same offence three times previously.
Outcome: F £157.50; VS £20; C £90.

48. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 4 weeks. He is self-employed.
Outcome: F £200; VS £20; C £90.

49. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 4 weeks. He is unemployed and has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £150; VS £20; C £90.

50. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 4 months. He is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

51. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

52. Defendant was male. Pleaded guilty by post. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

53. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

54. Defendant was female. Pleaded guilty by post. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 5 days. She is currently on maternity leave from work.
Outcome: F £135; VS £20; C £90.

55. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 6 weeks. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

56. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 months. She is unemployed and has one previous conviction for the same offence.
Outcome: F £105; VS £20; C £90.

57. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 day. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

58. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 months. She is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

59. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. She is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

60. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 4 months. She is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

61. Defendant was female. Attended the hearing to plead guilty in person. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 weeks. She does not speak English and was accompanied by a support worker who acted as interpreter.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

62. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. She works for a well known animal charity.
Outcome: F £190; VS £20; C £90.

63. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

64. Defendant was female. Pleaded guilty by post. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

65. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 month. He is in receipt of benefits.
Outcome: F £35; VS £20; C £90.

66. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 2 weeks. She is a single parent.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

67. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

68. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 weeks. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

69. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

70. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of more than 6 months. She is unemployed. For whatever reason there are no costs awarded in this case.
Outcome: F £82.50; VS £20; C £Nil.

71. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

72. Defendant was female. She made an application to have the case reopened, but failed to appear so her application was dismissed.

73. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 9 months. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £57.50; VS £20; C £90.

74. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

75. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 3 months. She is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

76. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case be withdrawn.
Outcome: Case withdrawn.

77. Defendant was female. TV Licensing requested the case to be adjourned so they could monitor repayments.
Outcome: Case adjourned.

78. Defendant was female. Following a previous TV Licensing visit she was put on a repayment plan, which she has defaulted on. She works as a carer.
Outcome: F £67.50; VS £20; C £90.

79. Defendant was male. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of less than 6 months. He is unemployed.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.

12 comments:

George Dickson said...

Do not pick up anyone specifying the use of their TV to watch a program that doesn't require a licence e,g repeats, iPlayer etc. Is this where TV Licensing pull the case or is it through ignorance?

admin said...

They pull most of the "dodgy" cases before they are aired in court.

Watchkeeper said...

Look at all those £90 costs, together with one £105 and one £120. Capita regards these costs as an income stream.

So Capita pays its salesman to catch "criminals" then pursues the "criminals" in court and pockets the costs. This is supposed to be justice?

And the BBC smiles from the sidelines.

admin said...

Yes Watchkeeper, that's exactly how it is. The BBC has confirmed to us (their FOIA response RFI20131175) that Capita gets to keep all of the money they generate from court costs.

That's a lot of pies that Hagrid's evil twin sister could afford to buy.

I think Watchkeeper, as you're kind of local, that you should pop into this court one Thursday. I'm sure you'll get a warm reception as soon as you ask "which way to the TV licence hearings?"

AliveAndFree said...

Case 61 is interesting. Defendant does not speak English, so how did the Goon communicate with her? Someone funny about that one. Anyway to gain further information.

Also, there's a fair few case withdrawn by the SS Capita - I wonder why?

Case 4 is VERY interesting.

Occurred to me that all these fines ect will be lodged in the public domain. How would someone get that information?

admin said...

Thanks for your comment AliveAndFree. The court register gives details of all cases heard/sentenced by the court. It is available for public inspection, for anyone who has the time and inclination. A phone call to the court is all that's required to arrange a viewing.

Anonymous said...

I notice a few things about these case:

Most of the defendants are female.
Most of the defendants are unemployed.
The short duration of watching without a licence.

It seems that these people are most likely to be at home when TV licensing call and are least likely to put up a fight on the doorstep and in court.

Very interesting that the guy who put up a fight and actually questioned the evidence was acquitted.

Surprised that case wasn't pulled.

A CAD said...

This is just not right;

No.35 female, 4 previous convictions, benefits, £137.50 fine.

No. 26 female, works full-time, no previous, £200

No. 41 male, works part-time, no previous, £200

Non of it is fair or right but hols on, victim No. 35 gets off lighter because she is on benefits, even with 4 previous TV convictions.

Hmmm, naughty.

admin said...

Thanks for your comment A CAD.
There are certainly rules that the Magistrates have to abide by when passing sentence, so you are right to note the contradictions between cases.

We also spotted a few unusual outcomes there.

We are grateful to Adee for providing his notes, but it is possible that he made a few errors during his frantic scribbling. The pace is very intense when you're observing a TV licence court session.

TV Licensing Watch said...

Yes, cases are "heard" at a frantic pace. Almost hear the sound of don't give a f*ck rubber stamping of convictions in the street outside these TV Licensing kangaroo courts.

The best way to deal with Capita TV Licensing scum is not to open the door to them in the first place. If people do open the door the next best thing is to say NOTHING, sign NOTHING, VIDEO it, CLOSE door, PUBLISH video.

Ken Ward said...

23. Defendant was female. Admitted using a colour TV receiver without a licence for a period of 1 day. She had set up a payment plan, but defaulted on the payments.
Outcome: F £55; VS £20; C £90.
So, that's only £20,075 per year. Mmmm... at that daily rate.

Shakey said...

Hmmm... noticed the KEY WORD here is ADMITTED.
Most of them did not fight it but conveniently 'rolled over'.
I am VERY interested in the guy who stated that his 'equipment' COULD NOT receive 'live broadcasts'. VERY similar to my case m'thinks. Hopefully the 'cant receive' defence frightens them because of an appeal to a higher Court ?