Blyth pub boss fined £500 for not having a TV Licence at his bar

A pub manager at the Windmill Inn on Cowpen Road has been fined for using a television without a licence on the business premises

TV licence
TV licence

A pub boss has been fined for not having a TV Licence at his bar.

Geoff Cowell, manager of the Windmill Inn, on Cowpen Road in Blyth, was fined £500 for the offence of using a television without a licence on the business premises.

He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £50 victim surcharge by North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

Any business that shows television programmes as they’re being shown on TV, whether in front of customers or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV Licence. And if there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use a separate licence is required. 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.

Matt Thompson, TV Licensing spokesperson for the North, 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.”

TV Licensing is also reminding other businesses to make sure they are aware of their licensing requirements, to avoid the risk of prosecution and a large fine.

In 2013, TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 33,000 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.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer