Saturday, 3 February 2018

Rudd Defence

Available at What Do They Know? and elsewhere are redacted copies of the BBC provided TV Licensing™ Court Presenters' Manual.

As is often the case, a fearful, secretive BBC, oblivious to the realities of the internet and easy access to information from other sources, has redacted some of the most useful bits of information within that document in a rather comedic and futile attempt to keep it secret.  A fearful, secretive BBC, try to keep these things secret but people just can’t help finding things out. What an inconvenient curse the internet and alternative media have proven to be for the BBC and its BBC TV Licensing™ administration and enforcement contractor Capita.  In particular, we note that the BBC censors have removed all mention of the successful House of Lords Appeal in the case of Rudd  vs The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

In that Appeal, heard in 1987, brought by a defendant, Jeffrey Rudd, who was accused and convicted of an offence contrary to section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, namely, that he was using equipment for the purposes of wireless telegraphy without a licence granted by the Secretary of State.

Even though the judgement is now over 30 years old, it is still relevant to this today because the TV licence sections of the Communications Act 2003 are derived from that Wireless Telegraphy Act. The BBC and its BBC TV Licensing™ contractor Capita are fearful of the legal precedent set and consequent loss of easy revenue streams created by the Rudd judgement, which is why it has been airbrushed from the TV Licensing™ Court Presenters' Manual.

A summary of the Rudd judgment can be read here, but cutting through the legalese it boils down to this significant fact: For a defendant to be guilty of TV licence fee evasion, a Capita court presenter must prove that a television receiver or other devices were actually used, and not merely that they were unlicensed audio-visual equipment or other devices available for use.

This means that unlicensed possession of a television receiver, audio-visual equipment or other device is not an offence, unless it is actually used as a television receiver.

"There may well be circumstances in which, for example, a television set may be available for use in a person's house, and yet he may have no intention to use it and so may not license it. Thus he may be about to go away from home at the time when the licence expires, and not intend to renew the licence until he returns home. It is difficult to see why in such circumstances he should be convicted for an offence under section 11 (of the 1949 Act) on the ground only that the set was available for use and unlicensed..."

He continued:

"I recognise that this conclusion may create problems for the enforcing authorities in so far as it means that they cannot simply rely upon the fact that the relevant apparatus was available for use. They will, I fear, have to go further and will if necessary have to persuade the court to draw the inference that the apparatus in question was used by the defendant during the relevant period. But I trust and believe that if, for example, a television set in working order is found in the sitting room of a house occupied by the defendant, it will not be difficult for a court to draw the necessary inference in the absence of some credible explanation by the defendant to the effect that it was not being used."

It therefore follows that BBC TV Licensing™ contractor Capita’s court presenter has a weak case unless a person at an unlicensed address was actually seen in the act of receiving TV programmes without a valid TV licence.

Anyone caught with a TV receiver, audio-visual equipment or other device in unlicensed premises could offer the perfectly valid defence that it wasn't in use, but was present for some non-licensable purpose, for example, listening to radio, playing video games, watching DVDs and videos or use for CCTV monitoring.

Remember that BBC TV Licensing™ contractor Capita’s target driven, Code 8 obsessed dross have no automatic right of entry to any property. You can avoid the risk of having to rely on the Rudd defence by ignoring BBC TV Licensing™ contractor Capita completely. In fact, there is every reason to and it is in your own interests to do so.  Tell them nothing and never allow them access to your home.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita BBC TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.
For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita BBC TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.

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