The manager of a Sunderland pub caught without a TV licence has been fined.
Tracy Carr, the licensee of the Tram Car Inn, The Green, Southwick, was fined £220 for using a TV without a licence on the business premises.
She was also ordered to pay £195 costs and a £30 victim surcharge following a Magistrate’s review of the case on January 8, at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
Matt Thompson, 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’d rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted. A licence costs £150.50 and can be bought in minutes online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo."
Any business showing television programmes 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 run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.
Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence at £150.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.