A Coventry publican has had his personal licence suspended following a successful prosecution against him by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) for showing Sky Sports programmes illegally at his premises.
Nigel Gilder, director of Gilder UK, which is the premises licence holder of the Elephant and Castle pub in Aldermans Green Road, Aldermans Green, Coventry, was convicted of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (Sky televised football matches) without a commercial viewing agreement on 4 May at Coventry Magistrates Court.
Gilder received a six-month personal license suspension and was ordered to pay a total of £715 in fines and costs for the offences, which are contrary to Section 297 (i) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.
There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date; with more than 70 prosecutions so far this football season alone, and over 100 further cases in the pipeline.
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said: "Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky programmes on their premises. As numerous cases have shown, we successfully pursue and prosecute dishonest licensees who are then faced with substantial fines, costs and a criminal record."
A spokesperson for Sky said: "This case demonstrates the seriousness of this issue as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who televise Sky content illegally. Sky's ongoing support for FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law demonstrates our commitment to protecting the interests of our legitimate subscribers."
By Neil Gerrard
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