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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

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Saturday, 6 October 2012

TV Licensing Conviction Overturned

A woman has successfully had her conviction for TV licence evasion overturned at Burton Magistrates Court.

Writing in yesterday's Burton Herald, Rikki Thursfield explains how she was wrongly branded a criminal by TV Licensing when they prosecuted her for an offence she couldn't have committed:

IMAGINE waking up one morning and finding out that you have become a criminal and having no idea why. How would you feel?

My name is Rikki, I am a law-abiding citizen and mother of two small children. My partner and I are hardworking and we want to provide our children with a good upbringing, one which instills right and wrong, giving them a good platform in life.

One day I became a criminal and had absolutely no idea of how this had happened to me.

I woke up one morning and received a few telephone calls from family and friends to say that my name was featured in the court pages of the Herald for TV Licence evasion.

I'd been taken to court in my absence and a judgement had been made against me, resulting in fines, costs and worst of all, a 'criminal record'!

This alleged offence had occurred because in May this year I relinquished a property.

As part of the process, I informed all the necessary organisations, to include South Staffs Water, electricity and gas suppliers and TV Licensing.

Later, I moved into my partner's address, which was already covered by a TV licence. At the date of moving, no monies were owed to TV Licensing whatsoever and as far as I was concerned, I had fulfilled all of my duties and responsibilities prior to leaving the address.

To find out later that I had become a 'criminal' without actually committing a 'criminal act' was not only alarming, but extremely distressing, especially given that my name had come into disrepute for most of my hometown to read.

Being considered a criminal is a serious mark against anyone's name, not something that I was prepared to take lightly.

Due to this, I set about trying to find out how to reverse what had happened and clear my name. I did some research and also contacted Burton Magistrates Court to see what I could do about my predicament.

On Tuesday, September 25, I attended Burton Magistrates Court at my own expense and signed what is known as a 'Statutory Declaration'.

This is a document whereby you swear on oath in front of a magistrate that you have no knowledge and are not guilty of the alleged offence.

TV Licensing were also present at court. All fines and costs were dismissed and I no longer have a 'criminal record'.

According to Burton Magistrates Court what had happened to me is a recurring problem.

However, I feel some people may be paying these fines, costs and accepting a 'criminal record', through fear, or because they don't know how to deal with the situation.

I hope by bringing this to the attention of others, that people will defend themselves in cases such as mine. Also, I want to express how I think it is wrong for TV Licence evasion to carry such a harsh penalty as a 'criminal record', even if a person has truly evaded the TV Licence fee.

Theft of a few hundred pounds and criminal damage for example can carry a fixed penalty notice by the police to the sum of £80 and yet, people are being criminalised for what amounts to a very minor infringement of our laws, one that I feel needs to be addressed.

Rikki Thursfield, via email.


33_hertz said...

What a disgusting way to treat people. She handled it well I thought and kudos to her and yourself for bringing this to people's attention.

John Galt said...

This is both typical of the BBC in their personae of TV Licensing and also very unsurprising.

However, both the posting above and the article in the newspaper don't describe how the original conviction was obtained.

Was this because whomever opened the door to the TV Licensing goons and got caught using the TV then pretended to be the previous occupant (Ms. Rikki Thursfield) or was the entire evidence put forward by a Capita employee on behalf of the BBC totally fraudulent evidence?

The distinction may not mean much from a purely legal perspective, but from the perspective of those of us (like myself) who have been wrongfully persecuted by the BBC it makes a great deal of difference.

Yet another criminal Capita employee would be too much of a surprise either, but it might be another nail in the coffin of the existing TV Tax.

The sooner the TV Tax is repealed and the BBC forced operate on a subscription or advertising revenue basis, the better.

lionel ashley vye said...

i would seriousely look into the possibility of suing the papaer and the council and magistrates for slander, go on google find a lawyer who specialises in this. the rich seem to do this all the time:)

admin said...

The information reported by the paper at the time, that Rikki had been convicted, was correct at the time.

By definition that removes any opportunity to pursue them for defamation.

lionel ashley vye said...


Brendan said...

I have just read this blog.
Last year my wife received a CCJ against her for failure to pay TV license for our property. This was after being door stepped and informed that we had no license and paying £145 on the spot. The same thing happened again last week with another £145 payment having to be made. This week we have discovered by going through her bank transactions that her account has been debited on a monthly basis by TV Licensing for the past 2 years. Thus:
1) She has a wrongful criminal conviction rendering her unable to obtain personal financing.
2) She has not only paid the TV license but has effective been double-charged for this.

We are outraged at this. We want to recover the overpaid amounts (£290), have the CCJ overturned but also want to explore the possibility of damages.


M Lockyer said...

My partner was convicted while he was actually living and working in South Africa AND HE CAN PROVE, because all his exits and re entries are date stamped by Cape Town Passport control, he only found out on Christmas Eve 2016. We made a statutory declaration in Court on 18/01/2017. The case was reopened and referred to City of London Court on 02/02/2017, however Capita looked at bot the papers and his statement, and told the COURT to withdraw the case, and it never got re heard, the court records have not been updated, and when I rang the Court they said they had no records and had never heard of him. We at last have persuaded Brighton to check the court record system, which show no hearing happened, so his conviction was not overturned. Capita have in fact interfered in the process of the Courts. BBC have sent letters saying we are not entitled to a penny in compensation as he remains convicted, in the same letter they admit they never check ID nor any electoral roll or other public records to verify they are prosecuting the correct person. This example appeared in the Daily Mail 28.02.2017 who checked and verified all the information before going to press. More worrying is the stance that they accept without questions statements obtained by Capita agents, who are highly incentivised financially to get as many statements as possible, and do so often without giving the warning that the statement is "under caution" before records are made, which is not the correct legal manner. We can prove the truth, and at last one Court has e mailed the other Court on the official e mail system asking why the case hearing never took place. John works in care, and could lose his job and has already taken 2 days unpaid, the time and expenses trying to get this overturned now some to several hundred pounds and we have been refused legal aid, he is only just over the earnings threshold.