Licensee appeals foreign satellite conviction

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foreign satellite football Appeal

A licensee convicted of showing foreign satellite football using a non-EU card has launched a crown court appeal. Alec Piercy of Ridge Farm Pub and...

A licensee convicted of showing foreign satellite football using a non-EU card has launched a crown court appeal.

Alec Piercy of Ridge Farm Pub and Restaurant, in Bedlington, Northumberland, was originally convicted by Newcastle Magistrates Court in February for showing games using an ART card.

But after appealing this conviction, a crown court judge last week agreed to a hearing, scheduled for September.

Paul Dixon, of legal firm Molesworths Bright Clegg, representing Piercy, said it was "an important test case".

"Alec's appeal is a further challenge to the Premier League's attempts to prolong a damaging system of territorial restrictions on the reception of satellite broadcasts and deny hard working publicans (and others) the freedom of choice of television services," he added.

But Ray Hoskin, managing director of Media Protection Services, which investigates and prosecutes pubs showing foreign satellite football on behalf of the Premier League, dismissed the move.

"Mr Piercy has every right to appeal to the crown court, but it does not entitle other publicans to show games using these cards," he said.

"If you are caught for speeding then lodge an appeal, it does not entitle your neighbour to do 150 miles per hour."

Hoskin added that convictions against licensees using the systems were still going through "on a daily basis" and there were more than 200 cases "in the system" waiting to go to court.

Meanwhile, there is still no indication as to when licensee Karen Murphy's foreign satellite appeal will be heard at the European Court of Justice, although it has been suggested it may not be until next year.

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