Back in April we received an email from a dismayed South East London resident wrongly accused of TV licence evasion.
The man, who we'll call Rohit for sake of argument, told us of his bemusement at receiving a summons for an "offence" TV Licensing alleged to have occurred back in early November 2014.
Rohit explained how he owned a colour TV set, which was only used for playing PS3 games on. Such an arrangement does not legally require a TV licence. Between April and September 2014 his parents were visiting from India, so he made sure he was correctly licensed for them to enjoy TV programmes during their stay. Once his parents had returned home Rohit decided to cancel the TV licence, as he could live quite happily without TV programmes. He disconnected the Sky box and put it up for sale on Gumtree.
Shortly after 9 am on Saturday, 8th November 2014 a TV Licensing goon called at the unlicensed property. Rohit unwittingly confirmed to the goon that he owned a TV and allowed him access to inspect the equipment.
Rohit continued: "When (the goon) visited he said he can see the dish at the top of the property, which means I would still be receiving the signals.
"I told him that I rent this property and dish was pre-installed when I moved in. I am not authorised to removed it as I don't own it.
"He said he want to check if I am receiving signals so he want me to connect the box, which hadn't yet been sold, to the TV and see if is still working. At this point I told him it is disconnected and I would need to connect all the cables and box to make it work. He said he would wait and I should connect everything."
As Rohit connected the box he told the goon that he didn't have a Sky subscription, so it probably wouldn't work anyway.
After spending 5 minutes setting up the equipment Rohit handed the goon the remote control, which allowed him to tune into the BBC News Channel. The goon then set about filling in the TVL178 Record of Interview form, which indicated that Rohit was receiving TV programmes without a valid TV licence and had been since September.
TV Licensing actively coaxes the occupiers of unlicensed properties into self-incrimination. It is a despicable tactic, but worryingly it is TV Licensing policy to do that. Equally worrying, when TV Licensing takes these innocent people to court its case is always "the occupier was caught receiving TV programmes without a valid licence" instead of "the set was disconnected and we had to ask the occupier to set it up".
On hearing Rohit's story we immediately formed the opinion that he had been stitched-up by TV Licensing. Rohit did not need a TV licence and would not have committed an offence unless the miscreant goon, flashing his ID card with the pretence of authority, had duped him into it.
We advised Rohit to respond to the summons indicating a not guilty plea. We also told him to make TV Licensing acutely aware that he would attend court and recount, in glorious technicolor, the exact circumstances to the Magistrates.
Rohit did just that and we are pleased to confirm that TV Licensing has decided to withdraw the charges, rather than have the actions and integrity of its goon questioned in court.
There are hundreds of other innocent people in the exact same situation as Rohit. It is crucially important that they also get clued up and make a stand. Many of TV Licensing's prosecutions stem from the fact that people, whether guilty or not, simply roll over and accept their fate.
There is the mistaken belief that TV Licensing is a "professional" organisation that would never attempt to prosecute anyone without sufficient evidence.
In reality TV Licensing is the lowest kind of opportunist. It flies its kite in court knowing full well it can slide dubious cases under the noses of Magistrates. It can do that because TV Licensing cases are delivered at a frenetic pace and go largely uncontested.
Rohit has been fortunate on this occasion, but his story acts as a potent reminder about the dangers of engaging with TV Licensing.
TV Licensing cannot be trusted. It has no qualms about criminalising innocent individuals like Rohit. It displays not the merest flicker of conscience when it prosecutes the most vulnerable people in society. Instead of learning from its mistakes, TV Licensing arrogantly ignores, repeats and denies them. TV Licensing has the morals of an alley cat. Make no mistake that TV Licensing is an utterly abhorrent organisation, which is managed by utterly abhorrent individuals.
Anyone who doesn't legally need a TV licence has no business whatsoever with TV Licensing. Much more advice in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare.