The tenant of a Washington pub has been fined more than £200 for using a TV without a licence.
Claire Hamilton, tenant of The Black Bush, Village Lane, Washington, was ordered to pay £370 by magistrates in Teesside.
She was fined £220.00 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises and also ordered to pay £120 costs and a £30 victim surcharge following a magistrates' review of the case on May 9.
Any business showing television programmes as they are broadcast on TV, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV licence.
If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence.
Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000.00 per offence, plus costs.
Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV licence at £154.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.
A survey by Harris Interactive contacted on behalf of TV Licensing found that maintaining a positive reputation is extremely important to businesses.
More than 3,000 businesses were questioned as part of the research, and results showed that 92% of companies believe it is important that their business does not incur any fines or penalties.
The Harris survey also revealed that 88% said it is important to pay bills on time, while 90% state the importance of maintaining the same industry standards as their competitors.
Tim Downs, TV Licensing spokesperson for the north, said: “We appreciate these are tough times for businesses, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally.
"As our survey shows, those businesses who do try to get away with it might find the price of being caught to be higher than just a fine.
“We would rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted.
"A licence costs £154.50 and can be bought in minutes online."