The manager of a Hailsham takeaway caught without a TV Licence has been ordered to pay £680 by magistrates.
Wai Chung Mok, manager of Lucky Star Chinese takeaway on George Street, was fined £440 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises, say TV licencing bosses.
They said he was also ordered to pay £196 costs and a £44 victim surcharge following a magistrate’s review of the case on December 29 at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
Any business showing television programmes as they’re 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 per offence, plus costs.
Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence at £145.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.
Ben Craig, TV Licensing spokesperson for the South East, 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 £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo.”
Last year, TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 30,000 businesses across the UK, ranging from takeaway restaurants and holiday parks to garages, hair salons and sports clubs, to confirm if they were correctly licensed.