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I zapped the TV snoops.

Student Derek Mackenzie took on the TV snoopers and won...

But at quite a cost.

For they accused him of not having a licence - when he didn't even have a telly! Derek was involved in an amazing 18-month legal wrangle to clear his name.

He faced SEVEN court dates an arrest warrant, trips of 1,600 miles, a pounds 303 solicitor's bill and pounds 300 in expenses.

Derek of, Garve, Ross-shire said: "It's a dear Job proving You're innocent. It would put you off watching telly for life." The sorry saga started in 1994 when Derek, who was then at Aberdeen College, was reading in his bedsit in the city's George Street.

That's when the TV Licensing Inquiry Agents came to call.

Said Derek: "I let them in, but the flat was owned by another chap who had the other room. The television was his.

"The agents wanted to see the TV and I let them into his room. They said there was no licence, and I said I'd get in touch with the owner to tell him to get one. He said he would. A few weeks later I was charged with not having a licence, and I had to go to court in January, 1995.

"I pleaded not guilty. They set a trial date for February." More dates were set, but when Derek turned up for the latest, his not guilty plea had been accepted.

Derek said: "The whole thing has been a nightmare. I owe a solicitor pounds 303 and my mum pounds 300 for the travelling and phone calls.

"But I'm glad I saw it through, despite the cost and strain. It has been proved I'm innocent." A spokesman for TV Licensing in Bristol said: "We would never knowingly prosecute the wrong person.''
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Lawson, Jim
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 30, 1996
Words:297
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