TV Licensing has recently experienced defeat at Liverpool Crown Court, when the judge decided to overturn another of their more dubious Magistrates' Court prosecutions.
Lee's story, which we consider the tip of a very large iceberg, reaffirms our long-held belief that some TV Licensing goons try to get a result (thus bump up their commission) by whatever means they can. Experience shows that a significant proportion of TV Licensing employees cannot be trusted, so anyone who legitimately does not require a TV licence, just like Lee, is strongly advised to avoid all contact with them.
Lee tells his story below:
On 18th October 2013 I had a knock at my door. I was confronted by a Marstons debt collection agent, who informed he had come to enforce a warrant for non-payment of a £250 fine, plus costs making it up to £350 in total. Apparently I had been using a TV illegally without a licence.
I contacted the Liverpool Magistrates' Court where, unknown to me, I was convicted and a sentence passed in my absence on 9th November 2011. It turned out that a doorstep agent from TV Licensing (Capita) had knocked on an ex-partner's address. Whatever transpired there ended up by me having a TV licence put into name, which involved someone signing my signature on the declaration form. Basically, a TV licence was fraudulently put in my name. This case was taken to court without any attempt to ensure the correct person was named on the licence. In my absence, due to the fact I had no clue about it, I was tried and convicted.
Not being able to attend the court to make a Statutory Declaration I had to write to the Crown Court to make an out-of-time appeal. This was first refused due to a Crown Court Judge deciding that I had not given enough evidence to prove I had never lived at the said address. Writing back to the Crown Court I included a written statement from Liverpool City Council stating that I had never been a resident at the said address and reiterating my threat to take the court procedure further.
On the 10th March 2014 my appeal was allowed and the conviction overturned.
It infuriates me to think that some members of the public would receive these fines and pay it purely out of fear of receiving a criminal conviction. To those people I say DON'T! Stand up and fight, I am now in the process of suing TV Licensing (Capita Business Services Ltd) for negligence. When a doorstep agent attends an address ID should be shown to the agent by the person who is signing the declaration. This will ensure that TV Licensing has the correct individual's name, rather than allowing anyone to claim they are someone else. This is what I will be fighting for. I will also be seeking damages for myself and my partner, as this whole process put a lot of stress on us both. We have wrongly had to endure debt collectors and High Court Enforcement Officers waiting outside our house to pounce on any opportunity to take our personal belongings. All this hassle for a TV licence fraudulently put in my name.