Conviction 'no impact on role' AUTHORITY SAYS THERE'S NO ISSUE, BUT LABOUR PARTY LOOKING INTO COUNICLLOR'S CONDUCT.
Byline: DAVE ROBSON firstname.lastname@example.org @Daverobson_gaz
A COUNCILLOR'S conviction on dishonesty charges "have no direct impact on her role with the authority", Redcar and Cleveland Council says.
But the Labour Party says it takes the issue "very seriously" and has confirmed it is looking at the situation. As reported, Labour councillor Geraldine Williams, along with her brother Anthony, was found guilty of showing Sky Sports games least six times without permission at a pub they jointly own, The Cleveland Inn, Normanby.
They were fined a total of PS19,000 between them at Teesside Magistrates Court for six counts of dishonestly receiving a programme with intent to avoid payment.
Both claimed they were unaware that the matches were being screened without a licence and blamed the issue on a manager, who they later sacked.
Cllr Williams was elected for the Eston ward in the May 2015 local elections.
A Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesperson said: "The conviction and sentence in postcodes 7HT 6BQ 0PD 7NS 4SF imposed on Councillor Geraldine Williams have no direct impact on her role with the authority."
A spokesperson for Redcar and Cleveland Labour Group said: "This is an issue which Redcar and Cleveland Labour Group take very seriously and are following agreed internal procedures."
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager for anti-piracy watchdog FACT said "These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription.
"If convicted, fines for this offence are unlimited and you may have to pay substantial legal costs, as well as putting yourself at risk of having your licence suspended or revoked."
George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said: "It's important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of showing Sky Sports illegally - it is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub industry, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties."
Geraldine Williams outside Teesside Magistrates' Court