Licensee's foreign satellite conviction quashed by High Court

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Foreign satellite, Foreign satellite football, High court, Law, Court, European court of justice

A licensee has had a conviction for screening foreign satellite football overturned by the High Court in London. Gregory Turner, of the Golden Cup,...

A licensee has had a conviction for screening foreign satellite football overturned by the High Court in London.

Gregory Turner, of the Golden Cup, Yoxall, Burton-upon-Trent, was originally convicted and fined £500 in June 2009 for showing games using an Arab Radio and Television (ART) Network system, after the case was brought by Media Protection Services (MPS).

He appealed the decision at Stafford Crown Court last March, but this was rejected.

However, judges at the High Court earlier this month allowed the appeal and quashed the conviction, on the basis the court had not considered EU law.

The long-running issue of foreign satellite football is currently being considered by judges at the European Court of Justice.

Martin Howe QC, acting for Turner, previously argued the case had an EU dimension as ART conducted "economic activity" in Italy.

The judges also noted the licensee had since bought a Sky subscription and was no longer using a foreign satellite system.

In delivering his judgement, Lord Justice Pill said that Turner was a man of "previous good character" and was now "following a course" to which MPS does not object. The licensee will also receive costs.

Speaking after the High Court hearing, Turner's lawyer, Paul Dixon of Molesworths solicitors, said: "We are all absolutely delighted for Greg. He should never have been convicted in the first place.

"The High Court did not hesitate to overturn the decisions of the lower courts and quash the original conviction.

"Greg and his family can now put this episode behind them and concentrate on what they do best, namely looking after their customers and staff at the wonderful Golden Cup."

An MPS spokesman said: "Mr Turner recently had his conviction quashed by the High Court after Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice Mackay ruled that it was unfair that he was unable to put across his defence in a hearing at a lower court.

"The decision does not affect the law and MPS will continue to take prosecutions against the minority of licensees who use foreign satellite systems to screen Premier League football."

Related topics: Other operators

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