“Sloppy” Sky prosecutions thrown out
Date online: 30/08/2012
Prosecutions brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (“FACT”) on behalf of BSkyB against three separate publicans for allegedly showing Sky domestic broadcasts of Premier League football and Rugby Super League matches in their pubs were thrown out by District Judge Sanders after trials at Bury and St Helens Magistrates Courts on 22nd , 23rd and 24th August 2012.
Emmanuel Gabriel of The Spanking Roger in Miles Platting, Manchester and Paul West of Blessed Sports Bar in St Helens, Merseyside were both charged with 6 offences, while Michael Dwyer of The Peel Hotel in Bury, Lancashire was charged with 7 offences.
After dismissing the prosecutions District Judge Sanders criticised FACT for bringing “sloppy prosecutions … in which they have failed to establish basic elements of the alleged offences…”
Speaking after the trials, Paul Dixon of Molesworths Bright Clegg in Rochdale, the solicitor for all three publicans, said:
“These prosecutions were flawed from the outset. They should never have been brought. On one occasion FACT’s investigator arrived at one of the pubs unannounced and insisted on speaking to the bar manager while she was trying to look after a funeral party. I am delighted to have secured acquittals for my clients so that they can now concentrate on what they do best - looking after their customers.”
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