A BURNLEY pub owner caught without a TV Licence has been ordered to pay £1,300 by magistrates.

Steve Gwilt, owner of the Stanley Inn, in Oxford Road, was fined £1,000 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises.

He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £100 victim surcharge at the hearing yesterday at Blackburn Magistrates Court.

Jenny Murphy, 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 at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/ business.”

TV Licensing is urging other businesses to make sure they are aware of their licensing requirements, in order 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.

A survey of more than 250 managers at UK businesses, conducted with the British Chambers of Commerce on behalf of TV Licensing, showed that where a business needs to make cutbacks, just 14 per cent would consider not paying for a TV Licence where one was needed.

The BCC survey also showed that, of those asked what would motivate them to ensure they were correctly licensed, 98 per cent answered the potential reputational damage from negative press coverage of a prosecution for TV Licence evasion.