A landlady who screened Sky sports channels she had not paid for in her pub has been fined £3,000.
Caroline Foster, of the Walmer Bridge Inn on Liverpool Old Road, Walmer Bridge, screened various events despite being warned she needed to pay an £825 monthly business subscription.
She admitted three charges of dishonestly receiving a programme and must pay £750 costs and a £120 surcharge.
Prosecuting for the Federation against Copyright Theft (FACT), Andrew Johnson said: “ This follows an investigation into the showing of live broadcasts of football matches at the pub.
“Investigators from Sky identified programmes were being shown without the proper agreement with Sky being in place.
“Sky have products domestic householders can access which prohibits the use in public places, and separate commercial packages.
“Efforts were made to warn the defendant. In November 2015 a letter was sent by special delivery. On November 12, 26 and December 11 attempts were made to speak to her in person.
“On December 16 an officer spoke with her by telephone and set out the need for the proper agreement to be in place and a final letter was delivered on December 21.
“However live football continued to be shown and the proper agreement wasn’t in place.”
Defending, Ivan Dickinson said: “Its a difficult time for public houses, many are closing every day. She was trying to keep the pub going, simply keeping her head above water.
“It perhaps won’t surprise you when my friend outlines the cost of the subscription that she simply couldn’t afford it.”