TV Licensing has dropped another prosecution case, which hinged on what can only be described as questionable evidence.
At the start of June we wrote an article about Tony, a West Yorkshire resident, who had the misfortune of experiencing a visit by a TV Licensing goon. Please refer to that earlier post for some background to Tony's case. The Record of Interview form, TVL178, produced as a result of that visit is shown below:
Let us pick up from where we left off last time.
Our closing remarks were: "We have advised Tony of the inherent flaws in TV Licensing's evidence and are encouraging him to attend court and plead not guilty. Having heard several allegations of TV Licensing 'creativity' in the past, we are inclined to believe Tony's chain of events."
TV Licensing rely very heavily on the fact that most people they "bust" will be so legally unaware and scared of publicity that they'll simply roll over and plead guilty by post.
Court is like a "sausage factory" to TV Licensing. They'll book an afternoon of court time and throw literally dozens of cases at the Magistrates for what is sometimes tantamount to a rubber-stamping exercise. As very few defendants appear in person the rulings invariably go in TV Licensing's favour.
The last thing TV Licensing want is for the defendant in one of their more dubious cases to appear in court and publicly discredit their evidence. Tony was in the ideal position to do just that. The contradictions on the TVL178 were very clear for all to see, plus he had a witness prepared to testify that the goon asked him to plug in the Sky box.
On our advice Tony rang TV Licensing's prosecution team and indicated his willingness to attend court and tear their evidence to shreds. Sphincters no doubt went into spasm at that point and it was only a matter of time before TV Licensing pulled the plug.
Within a couple of days TV Licensing rang Tony and confirmed they were dropping the case. A court letter, shown below, has just arrived confirming the same.
In our opinion Tony's case is just the tip of the iceberg. We consider that there are probably thousands of TV Licensing prosecutions brought annually on the basis of questionable evidence - questionable evidence produced by some goons more concerned about earning commission payments than serving the public interest. Many of those defendants could avoid court altogether if they were knowledgeable enough to challenge TV Licensing on the quality of their evidence.
We would encourage anyone in similar circumstances to Tony to please get in touch with us before doing anything else.
In closing, we shall highlight some important learning points from Tony's recent success:
- Never allow TV Licensing into your home voluntarily. Simply keep quiet and close the door on them.
- Do not trust TV Licensing goons. They are commission-driven salespeople, who sometimes bend the truth and rules to secure their bonus payments.
- If you are careless enough to arrive in the situation where you receive a summons for TV licence evasion then seek advice immediately.