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UK Radio Amateurs in Court

Since the Radiocommunications Agency was taken over by Ofcom, press releases have been few and far between, and the over zealous enthusiasm shown by the RA, in the area of trivial prosecutions, seems to have been replaced by a more sensible and realistic policy.

In 2013 it was revealed that the last prosecution of a radio amateur happened in 2001, it would seem that OFCOM are treating the hobby with appropriate interest, which is a far cry from the over zealous methods employed by the now defunct Radio Investigation Service.

The first recorded incident of a Radio Amateur being prosecuted must surely be that of  H.J. Jesse.

In the early hours of the morning of 28 December, 1924.
Using the self-awarded call sign PCII, H.J. Jesse, then an 18-year old schoolboy, made the first two-way transatlantic amateur radio contact from the Netherlands when he exchanged messages with American station 2AGB.
The output stage of Jesse's home-made transmitter comprised three vacuum tubes (valves) in parallel and consumed 350 watts; a wavelength of 113 metres was used.
However when news of this feat leaked out he was prosecuted and found guilty.
He was then congratulated for his engineering achievement and not sentenced.

We have not been able to bring you much news of court cases recently as either don't bother any more, or they don't produce press releases in the same way their predecessors did.

Ha, the surprising answer is that they don't bother any more as the new Terms & Conditions make almost anything legal!

LPWS Life President in court

Sadly, our life president Nigel Hopkins G1XYU was prosecuted and found guilty! The headline:- "A BLIND disabled amateur radio ham harassed someone on the airwaves leaving them living in fear." Can someone tell us how a blind man who can't walk could make even a self confessed cream pouffe. live in fear? What did an able bodied man, admittedly wearing a dress, wig and lipstick think he was going to do? Get his carers to take him along to his alleged victim's house and then do what?

In what can only be described as a travesty of justice, the gender bender, who's name we can't mention here, but do a Google search like this CLICK, managed to get the Police to believe he was frightened and living in fear of a blind disabled man.

Read the story here

26th June 2015

Kidderminster radio ham harassed someone on the airwaves

A BLIND disabled amateur radio ham harassed someone on the airwaves leaving them living in fear.

Nigel Hopkins almost had his license revoked and his radio equipment seized after repeatedly broadcasting hurtful things about someone, who The Shuttle has chosen not to name, while encouraging others to do the same between January 21 and April 25 last year.

The 62-year-old, who is confined to his home in The Serpentine, Kidderminster, unless he is with his carers because of his disabilities, had pleaded not guilty to the harassment without violence charge when he appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court on October 9 last year but was found guilty at a trial in his absence on June 18.

But, Hopkins appeared at the court again on Thursday, June 25, with his solicitor, Fergus Maxwell, looking to reopen the case in the interest of justice claiming he did not attend or make contact with the court on the day of his trial because he had lost the key to his front door and by the time he had found it, which was difficult because he has been completely blind for a number of years, and was able to speak to his carers, he had already been convicted..

However, the magistrates did not accept this as a reason for not attending his trial. Chairman of the magistrates Sue Roberts said: "We do not accept you did all you could to notify the court of your difficulty. Your conviction therefore stands."

Mr Maxwell said Hopkins maintained his innocence and an appeal to crown court may follow. As it was not possible to sentence Hopkins during the trial due to his absence, he was sentenced during this hearing. He was given 26 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months and made subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly or broadcasting about them or visiting their home.

Hopkins was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim and an £80 victim surcharge.

Novice Instructor??

19th August 2014
In keeping with the time honoured radio amateur tradition, it seems that Kenneth Dobson, 74, of Kinmel Bay, Conwy, diversified from sheep to little boys. Radio Amateur Dobson gave his 14 year old victim whisky before indulging in his hobby of kiddie fiddling.

The 74 year-old had previously admitted a charge of indecent assault, but at Caernarfon Crown Court a jury found him guilty of rape. The court heard that Dobson, of Foryd Road, had plied his victim with whisky before the sexual abuse. Judge Nic Parry said the boy had shared his interest as a radio ham and had idolised the pensioner. Judge Parry said :"This case involved a gross breach of trust and targeting of a child." He told the defendant "You came to see him as an object on whom you could satisfy your sexual urges."

Dobson’s defence lawyers said he had recognised the offences were abhorrent. North Wales Police have welcomed the prison sentence.

G6ABU - Coincidence??

9th February 2012

This Is Nottingham reported :- MARTIN Dale, 52, of Ward Avenue, Mapperley, will be tried for allegedly stealing approximately £3,400-worth of property from Nottingham Trent University between May 13 and June 30, 2010. In November he denied taking a Toshiba laptop, Panasonic projector and Samsung monitor from York House, Mansfield Road.

1st November 2012

This Is Nottingham reported :- MARTIN Dale, 53, of Ward Avenue, Mapperley, has been given a 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for stealing. Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard Dale was a team leader and breached the trust of his employer, Nottingham Trent University. He stole a Toshiba laptop, Panasonic projector and large Samsung monitor, worth £3,400, from York House, Mansfield Road. The theft happened between May 13, 2010, and June 30, 2010. Dale denied the charge but was found guilty after a trial. He is now subject to the suspended sentence. He will be supervised by the Probation Service for 12 months and has to complete 100 hours of unpaid work. There is also a requirement to pay court costs of £620.

He was unconditionally bailed to appear on March 27 at Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

QRZ Ham Radio database gives the following detail for the callsign G6ABU :-

G6ABU
MG DALE, G6ABU
2 WARD AVENUE, NOTTINGHAM
Mapperley, NOTTINGHAM NG3 6EQ
England

Surely it can't be a coincidence................. (Don't call me Shirley - Editor)

Don't call me "BOYO"!

21st October 2011
Amateur radio enthusiast Gareth Evans has been given a three-year conditional discharge after he emailed a school to say one of its teachers was a pornographer and a danger to children. The teacher, Brian Reay, was also a ham radio enthusiast and the two men met over an internet forum for fans of the hobby.

Evans, who denied a charge of sending an offensive/indecent/obscene/menacing message, said for the past nine years he had been ‘goaded’ by Mr Reay, who he claimed was racist towards the Welsh.

Evans, of Hardens Close, Chippenham, SN15 3AA, represented himself. Of Reay he said “If he was teaching a class and a child had the surname of Williams or Jones, something racist may slip out as it has done when he discusses the Welsh on the forum.”

District judge Simon Cooper found Evans guilty, and imposed a restraining order forbidding him to contact any employer of Mr Reay for three years, as well as costs of £625.

 

See "Mouth To Boot Resuscitation" below for more about this nu**er!

 

You Tube Potter Power!

27th May 2010

A New Zealand radio amateur has been convicted for being in possession of a radio transmitter capable of operating at a significantly higher power than permitted by his Amateur Radio Operators General Licence. Radio Spectrum Management prosecuted Amateur Radio Operator Alan Potter for transmitting outside the terms and conditions of the General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators.

The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development's (MED) Radio Spectrum Management division was alerted to a You Tube video showing Potter operating at 3100 watts, far in excess of that maximum permitted limit of 500W PEP.

He was found guilty on 22nd April 2010, in Christchurch District Court, of breaching section 113 of the Radiocommunications Act 1989. The magistrate found the charge proven, imposed a fine of NZ$1,750 and NZ$130 for costs to be paid plus radio equipment forfeiture.

In a media statement the Ministry of Economic Development explained that it had taken the action because excessive power has the potential to cause interference to, and disrupt to other radio services in the local area.

"Off Me Head, Your Honour!"

June 2006

AN AMATEUR radio enthusiast who tapped into and jammed a major security systems was "off his head", a court heard.
Michael Phelps (pictured), 26, of Westfield Close, Trowbridge, admitted four counts of deliberately interfering with wireless telegraphy when he appeared before magistrates at Chippenham.

The court heard Phelps, a licensed amateur radio user, illegally hacked into systems used by Bath University, West Wiltshire District Council and Langley Industrial Park in Chippenham, which could have been needed in an emergency.

Lester Maddrell, prosecuting on behalf of the Office of Communications (OFCOM), said: "He was a licensed radio user who knew what he was doing and the potential to disrupt the proper response to an emergency if one had happened."

Speaking out in court Phelps, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, said he could have tapped into the emergency services systems if he had wanted to but had chosen not to. Andrew Watts-Jones, defending, said: "I want to make it totally clear that there is no suggestion here that Mr Phelps interfered with the emergency services, which is the main issue in such cases.

"Mr Phelps was off his head' for most of the time whilst he was committing these offences, whilst he still has problems things are much better than they used to be." Between April and July last year Phelps interfered with the security system at the university, playing music, electronic noises and speech, for up to half an hour each time.

He caused similar disruption to the offices of West Wiltshire District Council at Bradley Road including one occasion on May 19 when staff could not use the security system for two hours.

He was finally traced back to Trowbridge at the end of June when OFCOM officers, monitoring interference at the Chippenham Industrial Park, tracked the radio signal to the Westfield Road flat where Phelps was staying with a friend.

Mr Phelps admitted the offences plus a further charge of possessing restricted apparatus, which was broken and not used in committing these offences. He was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order by magistrates on Wednesday, to focus on rehabilitation and his use of drugs and alcohol.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and to forfeit the radio equipment used to commit the offences.

[Obviously NOT the same Michael Phelps that won 6 gold medals at the Athens Olympics!, or is it?]

Mouth To Boot Resuscitation

7th March 2005

Radio ham Gareth Evans, G4SDW, was reported to have been arrested in connection with the harassment of an Internet chat room user.
Now Mr Evans, 54, of Hardens Close, Chippenham SN15 3AA, has made a complaint to police that he was roughly treated during the arrest.
But police say they are confident they acted within the law when arresting him.
Mr Evans, who has been bailed pending further police inquiries, was arrested by six officers at his home on Monday 7th March 2005.
He claims he was pinned to the floor by three police officers, while another put a boot on the side of his face and forced his head into the ground.
He said: "They carried me out by the strap of the handcuffs which were biting against the bone." But Sergeant Matt Armstrong said officers had made a video recording of the arrest, "We are confident we acted within the law and if Mr Evans made a complaint then it will be fully investigated by the Police Professional Standards Department and could be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
"He was released on bail pending further inquiries."
Mr Evans was kept in custody overnight at Melksham Police Station and subsequently made a complaint to Chief Superintendent Amanda Eveley.

QRZ  News Groups

The "Punch" line, left to his own Devizes!

Sergeant found not guilty
POLICE sergeant Richard Fullers name has been cleared after he was found not guilty of using unreasonable force to arrest a man.

Radio ham Gareth Evans, 55, had complained Sgt Fuller, who lives near Devizes, had unnecessarily used his foot to force his head to the ground while he was being arrested at his home, in Hardens Close, Chippenham, in March.
Magistrates in Chippenham found Sgt Fuller, a member of the force's armed response unit based in Devizes who has an unblemished career record, not guilty on the second day of his trial on Thursday, February 9.
They said he had not intended to harm Mr Evans, who suffered superficial facial injuries, and had not used excessive or unreasonable force. He was alleged to have forced Mr Evans' head to the ground with his foot.

Magistrates in Chippenham heard Mr Evans was arrested at his home in Hardens Close in connection with the harassment of an Internet chat room user a case which has since been dropped. The court was shown a video of the arrest and photographs of Mr Evans' facial injuries taken after the incident. Mr Evans, 55, spoke of his terror at the arrest, which used what he described as "agonising force".
Giving evidence, he said: "I was upstairs in my office when I saw a number of police coming up the road. "I came down to the front door where they told me they were going to arrest me. "I was in a panic and extremely frightened by so many people. "I had been at the door for several minutes when I was suddenly thrown to the floor. It was completely uncalled for.
"A handcuff had been put on to my left wrist with huge force.

Eleven months later and the mark is still visible. I was in a panic that the same thing was going to happen to my right wrist and I was flailing around on the floor. "Mr Fuller was swearing at me continuously and I remember him saying to me I know what to do about this'. A boot was applied for my face and ground down hard and I gave a cry of distress. "I was lying on the floor pinned down by a number of officers. There was a feeling of despair as the handcuff was placed tightly around my other wrist."

Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said the question wasn't whether the incident happened, but if it amounted to reasonable force. He said: "It was clear that Sgt Fuller lost his temper and used excessive force. "It was clearly motivated by anger and that is reflected by the remarks he made at the time. Mr Evans posed no risk of immediate violence.

"The state entrusts police officers with the right and power to use force when necessary and must be guarded against using it in excess." Mr Evans was examined by a forensic pathologist who found the injury on his face consistent with contact of the boot of the type worn by Sgt Fuller.

Nick Fridd, defending, said by last June Mr Evans had made 59 complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about Wiltshire Constabulary. He said Mr Evans aired his views of the police force on the Internet, calling them the "we'll s***e all over you constabulary". He also said former police officer Roy Clarke, who was stabbed to death in his Melksham home in December 2004, "deserved what he got".

When asked by Mr Fridd if he shouted and screamed during the arrest to draw the attention of his neighbours, Mr Evans replied: "No. I was in absolute agony. I've never known such pain."

Fuller is a member of the force's armed response unit and is based at Devizes.

Unlicensed in Bradford

13th August 2003

The Radiocommunications Agency has successfully prosecuted a Bradford man for unlicensed use of radio equipment contrary to Section 1 of the Wireless Telegraph Act 1949.

Darren McMahon, aged 35, of Morley Avenue, Bradford, pleaded guilty to four charges of illegal installation and unlicensed use of transmitting equipment when he appeared before Bradford Magistrates’ Court on 7 August 2003. Mr McMahon, who is a licensed amateur radio operator, was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £100.

Radiocommunications Agency officers monitored radio transmissions being made on unauthorised frequencies in the Bradford area in February which were traced to premises at Morley Avenue, Bradford. They obtained a search warrant and accompanied by the police entered the premises on 16 April 2003.

All apparatus seized was ordered forfeit.

Halifax, Discharge & £50 Costs

5th May 2000

A Halifax man's illegal radio equipment valued at £5000 has been confiscated after he admitted offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act.

Officials from the Radiocommunications Agency raided a house in Spring Grove Cottages, Halifax, after complaints from neighbours about interference to TVs and radios.

Halifax magistrates heard on 5 May that amateur equipment modified to operate on frequencies outside the amateur bands was found in the possession of 49-year-old Gilbert Whiteley, a licensed amateur radio user*.  Mr. Whiteley pleaded guilty to two charges of installation and use of illegal apparatus contrary to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.  He was given a 12 month conditional discharge for both summonses and ordered to pay £50 towards the costs of the prosecution.

* LPWS Note Does anyone know why the DTI do not give a station call sign for this man?

Essex man fined for offensive language, TWICE!!

26th April 2000

Keith Jermey, 45, of Clicket End, Basildon, has been convicted of using offensive language while communicating across two south east counties.

Basildon Magistrates Court (20th April) was told that, after many complaints about the use of offensive language over both the Kent and Essex amateur repeater stations, last August Radiocommunication Agency officers and two police officers entered the home of Keith Jermey and removed radio transmitting equipment.

Mr. Jermey, whose amateur radio call sign is G7WCM, denied the offence of using apparatus for wireless telegraphy, contrary to the conditions of his amateur radio licence. The Court found him guilty and fined him £75.00. He also denied using offensive language while transmitting, but the Court found him guilty and fined him £25.00. He was also ordered to pay £50.00 costs. The Radio Society of Great Britain Limited lodged the original complaints against G7WCM.

Bugger Me, He's done it again!!

27th July 2000

Keith Jermy, 45, of Clicket End, Basildon, Essex was convicted at Basildon Magistrates Court on 3 August of using amateur radio apparatus to send messages in a form that was grossly offensive, indecent, obscene and of a menacing character, contravening section 3(2) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. He also used unlicensed apparatus, breaching section 1(1) of the same act. This conviction followed a previous one at the same court on 20 April for a similar offence.

The court heard that following complaints made by the Radio Society of Great Britain on 26 April, Radiocommunications Agency officers obtained a search warrant and, together with local police, gained entry to Mr Jermy's premises the same day and seized equipment. Further complaints were made and following the monitoring of abusive and threatening transmissions, Radiocommunications Agency officers obtained a further search warrant on the 27 April and together with police, again gained entry to Mr Jermy's premises where further equipment was seized. The police arrested Mr Jermy and he was taken to Basildon Police Station, where he was later interviewed.

Mr Jermy pleaded guilty and was given 12 months probation and forced to forfeit all the relevant equipment.

We wish to thank Peter Crossland G6JNS for keeping us informed about current prosecutions. This page would not exist without his kind help.[SOC]

 
 
      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

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