Warning to buy television licence or face fine

A warning has been sent out to people using televisions without a licence that they will face prosecution and a fine.

It comes the day after Norwich Magistrates' Court saw 88 cases of people illegally watching television in one morning.

A spokesperson from TV Licensing said: 'An increase in the number of people appearing in courts clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of TV Licensing's methods and the success of our ongoing campaign to catch evaders.

'Everyone caught watching or recording a television illegally risks prosecution and a fine of up to �1,000.'

The spokesman added that in the first six months of 2011, over 1,350 people in Norfolk were caught watching TV illegally with more than 630 of those in the Norwich area.

One person who attended court yesterday was Susan Harley, of Golding Place, Norwich.

Harley, 54, pleaded guilty to using a television without a licence on April 5.

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Prosecuting on behalf of TV Licensing was Ken Vadera.

The court heard that since that date Ms Harley had started paying her licence and had just �32 left to pay.

She was given a conditional discharge for six months and was ordered to pay �60 costs.

However, most did not appear at court and received a fine set by magistrates under head of the bench Richard Meadows.

Those fined in their absence included 28-year-old Tanya Anderson, of Hauteyn Court, in Norwich, who was fined �175, plus �60 costs and �15 surcharge, Craig Andrews, of Gloucester Way, Thetford, and 37-year-old Christian Ashworth, of Ordnance Road, Great Yarmouth, who were fined the same, Stayce Bailey, of Prior Stephen Way, of Thetford, who was fined �200, plus �60 costs and �15 surcharge, and 41-year-old Metimet Bakir, of Dereham Road, Norwich, who was fined �100, plus �60 costs and �15 surcharge.

The case against 33-year-old Ruslans Staikovs, of Elizabeth Avenue, in Norwich was withdrawn after it transpired he had a licence under another surname.

•For more information on TV Licensing call 0300 790 6112 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk