Last month we explained how j2LightWorker, whose property was wrongly searched by TV Licensing, was seeking a copy of the search warrant Deposition.
The Deposition, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the process, is the sworn information TV Licensing presented to the court in their application for a search warrant. In our earlier post we explained some of the finer points of the search warrant application process, so we shan't repeat ourselves here. In order for TV Licensing to obtain a search warrant there are certain procedural and evidential hoops for them to jump through - at least that's the theory.
After multiple telephone calls, letters and the intervention of his MP, j2 has finally received a copy of the Deposition in question from Kirklees Magistrates' Court. It hasn't been an easy task and we admire j2's dogged determination in pursuing the issue.
Below is the complete text of the sworn statement the local Capita Court Presenter made to Magistrates on 6th June 2012. We apologise for the litany of grammatical errors, but the document is reproduced as is:_____________________________________________________________
THE INFORMATION of [REDACTED], this being his deposition in support thereof, is taken on oath this 6th Day of June 2012 before me the undersigned, a Justice of the Peace for Kirklees Magistrates Court, on an application for a search warrant authorising any employee of Capita Business Service Ltd, authorised on this behalf by the British Broadcasting Corporation, with or without constables, to enter the premises at [REDACTED](herein referred to as “the Premises”) at any time within one month of the date of the warrant and to examine and test any television receiving equipment found there.
AND the said [REDACTED] upon his oath says:
1. I am employed by Capita Business Services Ltd and apply for a Warrant under Section 366(1) of the Communications Act 2003 to enter and search the Premises and to examine and test any television receiving equipment found therein and I produce a copy of the authority of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
2. On the 7th December 2011 at 17:52 hours, Fred Clay a TV Licensing Enquiry Officer visited the Premises. As the officer approached the premises he noted that 4 adults and 2 children could be seen inside. The officer knocked on the door and spoke to a female occupier who he described as being of a slim build, with long light brown hair and between 5'5" and 5'7" in height.
3. The officer asked to speak with a "Miss Broadhurst" who was the previous recorded licensee at the address; at this point a male occupier joined the female at the door and asked who the officer was. The officer identified himself and the male asked the officer to wait a minute, upon returning to the door the officer noticed that the male was holding a camera and asked the officer "do you mind if I film you?" The officer advised that he did mind and asked the male to turn the camera off, to which the male replied, "I'm in my rights to film you". The officer advised that he was also in his rights to ask the male not to film him.
4. The male then asked to see the officer identification again and took a close up of the officers ID. The officer again asked if the male lived at the premises and the male replied, "I don't need to answer". The officer advised the male that he would be applying for a search warrant and left the premises. The officer described the male as being about 6 foot tall and of a slim build with brown hair and about 30 years old. The officer also noted that a television set could be seen to be installed through the front room window.
5. On the 7th January 2012 at 13:35 hours, Mr Philip Oldcorn, a TV Licensing Enquiry Officer, visited the Premises. The officer knocked on the door and spoke to a male occupier. The officer asked the male if he lived at the premises and he said yes. The officer identified himself and the male asked him to wait a minute disappearing in to the premises. When the male returned to the door he was holding a mobile phone and started to film the officer. The officer asked the male not to film him and the male started shouting at the officer.
6. On the 24th February 2012 at 13:05 hours, Mr Paul Moores a TV Licensing Enforcement Officer visited the premises. As the officer approached the premises he noted that loud music could be heard coming from within the premises. The officer knocked on the door a couple of times but received no answer, as the officer was walking away from the premises the door was opened by a male occupier matching the description as on previous visits.
7. The officer asked the male if he was the occupier and he replied, "Am I obliged to answer that? Who are you?" The officer produced his identification and the male asked him to wait a minute. The male returned to the door with his mobile phone and said, "You don't mind if I film you, do you?" The officer smiled at the male and began to walk away from the premises. The male then said, "You come here showing your ID why does a video scare you off".
8. The officer noted upon leaving the premises that an old satellite dish was affixed to the gable end wall of the premises.
9. As the officer left the premises he noted that a television set could be heard in use. The officer described the male as being about 5'10" in height, of a slim build with brown hair and about thirty years old.
10. The visit was generated as a result of there being no licence recorded at this address. An unlicensed property will generate a suite of reminder letters, which will ultimately result in a visit request.
11. The occupiers were sent a letter on 27th March 2012 urging them to buy a licence and warning them that a search warrant would be applied for if they failed to do so. This letter was returned via Royal Mail on 26th April 2012 marked as 'refused' with the comments 'unwanted junkmail, no contract, no consent, not interested...'
12. At no time during the visits was there a record of a television licence in respect of the Premises. In the circumstances it is believed that television-receiving equipment is in use at the Premises. Television licensing records reveal no trace of a current television licence held by any person authorising the use of television receiving equipment at the Premises.
13. From the information I have been provided with, there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence under section 363(1) and (2) of the Communications Act 2003, is being or has been committed at the Premises, that evidence of the commission of the offence is to be found at the Premises and that it is necessary to apply to the Court for a Warrant under section 366(1) of the Communications Act 2003 to search the Premises and test any television receiving equipment found there.
14. The request for a search warrant is a last resort. All other reasonable methods of obtaining evidence have been exhausted.
15. The issue of a warrant in these circumstances is a necessary and proportionate measure. Entry will not be granted unless a warrant is produced.
16. A warrant was previously applied for and granted on 26th April 2012 however, we were unable to execute the warrant. Sufficient manpower is now in place which will allow the execution of the warrant along with the required police assistance.
TAKEN and SWORN this 6th Day of June 2012
Before me the undersigned
A Justice of the Peace for Kirklees Magistrates Court.______________________________________________________________
We are in the fortunate position of being able to compare the evidence above directly against video footage of the goon visits. Having quickly done that we can already spot a few potential discrepancies, which will no doubt make an interesting point of future discussion.
Stay tuned for further updates, as there's more to come on this particular story.