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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70508
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been summonsed for not having a TV license. At the

Resolved Question:

I have been summonsed for not having a TV license. At the relevant time I was staying with a friend while I was waiting for completion on the purchase of my new house. I was unaware that my friend did not have a license. Have I got any defence?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have received a summons to appear at Watford Magistrates Court on June 16 for the offence of "on 20/12/2013 used a colour television receiver without a licence atXXXXX Stevenage. Contrary to section 363(2) and (4) of the Communications Act 2003.


 


On that date I had been staying with my friend at that address, which she rents, for about 1 week. The reason I was temporarily staying there was that I had sold my previous house and there was a delay on the completion of the purchase of my new house. I actually completed the purchase on January 21 2014.


 


My friend had a television and it was on when a TV Licensing agent knocked on the door. He actually woke me up because I was off work on sick leave, signed off by my doctor. He told me that there was no valid licence for that address. I said that I did not know this because I was only staying there temporarily.


 


Do I have any defence against the alleged offence?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Was it your TV or his?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was hers

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Was it in use?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ah! That will be the issue.

You will find the law here

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/section/363

and you do have a defence.

Clearly the TV receiver was under your control if the TV was on and you were alone in the house.

However, they have to show that you 'intended' to use it in contravention of the licence requirements and if you didn't know anything about it and had no reason to suspect then you didn't intend to act unlawfully.

Obviously whether or not they will accept that is another matter. Depends if they believe you on the point. You would be assisted by getting your friend to court to confirm the position. If that is not possible then produce evidence that you lived elsewhere shortly before and shortly afterwards.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
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