A MAN accused of selling devices to enable buyers to obtain pay -for-view tv channels free of charge, will stand trial next year.

Jamie Lee Hurst denies two charges arising from the alleged widespread sale of set-top kodi boxes adapted to allow the viewer to bypass the payment of the subscription for such channels.

During a short plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, 28-year-old Mr Hurst, of Lingholme, Chester-le-Street, pleaded not guilty to making or supplying articles for use in fraud and possessing criminal property, £149,328, knowing it constituted benefit from criminal activity.

The court was told the sale of such boxes is not illegal, unless they have been adapted with a software package to allow access to other sites in breach of copyright regulations.

Both defence and prosecution sides are likely to rely on the use of expert evidence in the field during the trial, which is estimated to take between three and four days.

Judge Jonathan Carroll adjourned the hearing and bailed the defendant to return for the trial, starting on Monday February 4.