2 Company directors ordered to pay £326,000 for illegally showing Sky broadcasts

On 18.7.2018 Birmingham Magistrates’ Court fined 2 directors of a company running pubs in the midlands a total of £266,000 for persistent breaches of Section 297 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. This case is the largest prosecution of its kind.

The case was prosecuted by Miles Bennett instructed by Matt Bosworth of Russell-Cooke on behalf of FACT.

Both JH and MJ were convicted of 19 offences each between February 2017 and September 2017. The defendants’ dishonesty continued even after they had been served with summonses for their offending between February and April.

The case centred around three pubs run by Monkmoor Pubs. JH was the DPS of two of the three pubs. Over an 18 month period JH with the loyal assistance of MJ, cheated Sky out of some £139,000 of commercial subscriptions and repeatedly showed Sky Sports live broadcasts in their pubs The directors acted dishonestly purely to deprive Sky of legitimate charges and to steal a commercial advantage over honest local businesses who had paid their commercial subscriptions, Both directors had received a number of warnings that their actions were dishonest.

The Court found that JH in particular had suborned RS a director in name only and coerced CK a publican of previous good character to commit offences of dishonesty on his behalf.

JH was fined £152,000 and ordered to pay £35,000 costs.

MJ was fined £114,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 costs