Watching TV without a licence has landed this man with a hefty fine.

TV viewer Jonathan Brown failed to pay his licence fee, and has landed a heavy fine after being convicted in court.

By law anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or uses BBC iPlayer to watch shows must have a TV Licence.

Read more: Cars, vans and motorhomes to be towed from mud when County Durham music festival ends

It is a criminal offence to use any TV receiving equipment without paying for the licence, which currently costs £159 a year.

Failing to pay the licence can result in heavy fines in court of up to £1,000 and extra costs.

Teesside Magistrates Court heard the case in his absence on Friday, April 21.

Read next:

Get more from The Northern Echo with a Premium Plus digital subscription from as little as only £1.50 a week. Click here

The prosecution, brought by TV Licencing, stated 34-year-old Brown, of Nevilles Parade, Newton Aycliffe, was found to have used a television receiver without a licence between July 11 and July 22, 2021.

He was handed a £75 fine and ordered to pay £120 of costs and a £32 surcharge.

It means the total he will have to fork out is £227, which must be paid by May 18 this year.