Murphy case could carry on after Europe

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foreign satellite Premier league Karen murphy

A landmark High Court foreign satellite appeal could drag on even after the matter has been heard in Europe. The full ruling from the second part of...

A landmark High Court foreign satellite appeal could drag on even after the matter has been heard in Europe.

The full ruling from the second part of the Portsmouth licensee Karen Murphy's appeal was handed down today, confirming the case will be referred to the European Court of Justice.

But the latest judgement says that if the European court finds there should be no "geographical restriction" on where a foreign satellite card can be used, it would be "difficult" to see why Murphy should have been charged by Sky for its service.

However the judgement concludes: "This may need to be the subject of further argument depending on the outcome of the reference which we propose to make."

Paul Dixon, of legal firm Molesworths Bright Clegg, representing Murphy, described the judgment as "powerful". "The message from the High Court could not be clearer," he said.

"The FA Premier League should immediately abandon its campaign of criminal prosecutions against honest, decent and hardworking publicans who purchase and use legitimate European satellite television decoder cards in their pubs."

However a spokesman for the Premier League said: "The use of foreign satellite equipment has not been legitimised.

"It remains the case that Mrs Murphy has been found guilty of a criminal offence.

"Action will continue to be taken against publicans who use foreign satellite equipment to broadcast Barclays Premier League football in this country."

The first part of Murphy's appeal against a crown court conviction for broadcasting Premiership football using foreign satellite equipment was rejected last December but the judges agreed to hear arguments on European competition law.

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