Foreign satellite licensee's appeal dismissed

By Iain O'Neil

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Judge Karen murphy

Foreign satellite licensee's appeal dismissed
£12,000 hit after Judge says she "hid" behind legal advice

A Portsmouth licensee who appealed a conviction for showing foreign satellite football has lost her case this afternoon.

Karen Murphy, of the Red, White and Blue in Southsea will face fines and costs of around £12,000 after a Crown Court judge upheld her conviction.

Murphy was found guilty in January of showing Premiership games via Greek satellite channel Nova at her pub.In our view Murphy hid behind the legal advice as a convenient shield with which to hide her dishonesty.​Judge Iain Pearson

Last year she was acquitted of the same offence because the judge found she had not acted dishonestly - because she did not know she was breaking the law.

Murphy continued to show the games and was prosecuted again.

She told the court she had taken legal advice from her solicitor and was told she was not acting criminally.

However, Judge Iain Pearson told Murphy today that he felt she knew what she was doing was illegal and she was "hiding" behind the legal advice of her solicitor.

Pearson, who sat with two lay justices, said: "In our view Murphy hid behind the legal advice as a convenient shield with which to hide her dishonesty."

Murphy took out a foreign satellite system after being encouraged to do so by her brewery at the time, Gales.

Since then she had received a letter from Fuller's - which bought Gales - saying that in their opinion the equipment should be removed.

Judge Pearson said in his judgment that he believed the Greek football programme being shown in the pub was contained in a broadcast eminating from the UK - without interruption - and therefore a fee should have been payable to Sky.

He therefore upheld the magistrates' court's decision.

Ray Hoskin of MPS, who brought the prosecution, told the MA outside court: "It gives me no delight to see another publican convicted. over the past two years or so the trade has been seriously misled by illicit dealers in these cards and in particular the false 'spin' placed on the Gannon case on the internet.

"Although MPS were not the prosecutors in the Gannon case, the court today made it quite clear that they disagreed with many of the points argued in Gannon.

"The judge also made it clear that publicans cannot hide their dishonestly by sheltering behind legal advice, insurance policies etc."

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