Amateurs In Court
Pirates In Court
CB Court Cases
Other Court Cases
Spot The Loony
Barmy Barry G0GGV
New Phonetic Alphabet
History Of Swearing
Ray Withers G4KZH
Other Radio Court
Here are a few example of prosecutions of other than
licensed radio amateurs.
Charlie Vaughan Southampton
Charlie Vaughan apprehended after
450 Man Hours of work by OFCOM.
Apparently he had 3 handheld
radios with which OFCOM made the extravagant claim that he was
"Broadcasting" when the Virgin Radio license application was seeking 3
Million listeners and that was called "Narrow Casting".
Ofcom further claimed that
Vaughan could have "Caused a ship to sink" and caused collisions and
loss of life.
Man hijacked Southampton Port radio and made racial slurs
A MAN who
caused shipping chaos for the port of Southampton has
narrowly escaped going to jail.
Vaughan could have “easily caused a ship to sink, collide or
people getting killed” by sending nuisance radio
Between April 1 and June 27
this year he broadcast approximately 400 times, a court
The 25-year-old played
music, hurled abuse and made threats to kill.
His antics impacted the port
so much that mobile phones had to be used to manage shipping
disruption he caused meant a tug boat had to be used to
safely tow a cargo ship of 300m - one of the largest in the
world - to port.
three-month campaign he sent messages such as “enjoy the
bomb”, “I am going to blow your ship up”, and “I am going to
cut your throat”.
On numerous occasions, he
made racial slurs directed at Polish, Chinese and black
who is unemployed and supported by his partner appeared
before Southampton Crown Court on Friday facing a charge of
sending malicious electronic communications to which he
Prosecution barrister, John Upton told how Vaughan used
special equipment to send nuisance transmissions on the same
radio frequency as Vessel Traffic Services - the maritime
equivalent of air traffic control.
The service is used to
“provide safe navigation in the Solent” for ships.
Ofcom engineers were
eventually recruited to find the source of the
They spent 450 man-hours
trying to trace him.
He was eventually found in
bed with three handheld radios at his home in South Street,
His partner had bought him
two as a birthday present.
Meanwhile, he boasted a
selection of radio user guides and manuals.
Mr Upton argued an
aggravating feature was the danger to public safety.
In 2017, Vaughan was given a
12-month community order for impersonating a police officer.
Defending, Mark Florida-James said there are clearly mental
health issues and how Vaughan suffers from ADHD and
statement from Vaughan read on his behalf said: “Sorry. I
really am sorry for the upset I have caused.”
Mark Florida-James added
that his client has taken responsibility for some of his own
sentencing Judge Gary Burrell QC said: “This is a very, very
serious case. It endangered the safe navigating of ships on
how Vaughan could quite easily have caused a ship to sink,
collide or people getting killed, but added that Vaughan had
serious mental health problems.
He was given an 18-month
sentence suspended for two years.
This included a six-month
sentence for assaulting two emergency workers on April 29
Vaughan must pay £1335 in
The report in PDF format, click
CQ You Jimmy!
A TEENAGER has been arrested after
interference to private radio networks caused disruption to sites
including Edinburgh Airport, and Edinburgh Castle.
The interference to communications on various networks in
the capital between June 2014 and January this year allegedly included
A five-month long investigation between Police Scotland,
British Transport Police and Ofcom was launched and an 18-year-old man
was arrested following a search of a property in the city on Monday.
He has been charged in connection with more than twenty offences under
the Wireless Telegraphy Act and a report will be sent to the procurator
Inspector Murray Starkey said: “This type of crime may
appear relatively low risk. However, the impact has caused genuine
concern for the individuals and organisations involved, as well as
significant disruption to their daily business. “Our joint
investigations have led to a man being charged with over twenty
offences.” He added that this demonstrates “the value of our partnership
The owner of a taxi
firm was fined £1,600 for using an unlicensed radio frequency for his
business for three years.
regulator Ofcom brought the prosecution against Dewsbury man Rafaqat
Hussain, 52, as the owner of Heckmondwike based Abbey Cars.
Court heard that Brian Mason, an engineering officer employed by Ofcom,
was working in Heckmondwike in May last year when he picked up a
frequency that was unregistered. Simon Gwynne, for Ofcom, told the court
the frequency had been cancelled in September 2011 due to non-payment.
Mr Mason traced the
frequency to the taxi firm’s office in Oldfield Lane and saw that the
frequency was in use. Hussain confirmed that he had been the owner of
the business since 2006 and admitted he was responsible for the
operation of the equipment and that it was owned by him.
He has since applied
and been granted a new licence.
Hussain, who did not
appear in court on Monday, was ordered to pay Ofcom full costs of
£1,553.80, as well as a £100 fine and a £20 victim surcharge.
A Hull Of An Old Loony!
An unlicensed radio
enthusiast who tried to illegally rule the airwaves has had his
63, was also given a suspended prison sentence after sabotaging other
He rigged his van with radio equipment and parked outside the homes of
other amateur broadcasters, hijacking their programmes.
[Obviously written by a loony]
McMurray, who did not have a licence, would either jam their signal or
broadcast his own material.
A spokesman for OfCom,
which monitors the illegal use of the airwaves, said: "He was driving
around Hull and the East Riding in a silver Toyota van rigged with radio
transmitting equipment. "He did not have a licence and was deliberately
interfering with other amateur enthusiasts. He was parking up outside
their homes and jamming the signals."
He pleaded guilty at
Hull Crown Court to unlawfully using wireless telegraphy apparatus
between June and November last year without a licence. McMurray, of
Lambert Street, Beverley Road, city centre, also pleaded guilty to using
a transmitter to deliberately interfere with wireless telegraphy.
He was caught by the
police and OfCom between Kirkham Drive and Goddard Avenue, West Hull, on
October 15 last year.
Recorder Richard Sheldon gave him a four month prison sentence suspended
for 18 months, an electronic curfew from 7pm to 7am for three months,
and allowed OfCom to confiscate his van and radio equipment.
Record Broadcast Costs £100k!!
Long time supporters of pirate broadcasters,
Broadcast Warehouse, pleaded guilty at Croydon Magistrates Court in
March 2008 and were fined £10,000 with record costs of over £90,000.00:-
Two directors from Broadcast
Warehouse Limited, based in Croydon, pleaded guilty to selling radio
equipment that did not meet regulations designed to make sure that
the equipment does not cause interference to other radio users.
Other radio users include the
emergency service and air traffic control. Equipment that does not
comply with the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal
Equipment (R&TTE) regulations 2000 has the potential to cause
interference to these critical services.
Illegal transmitters that do not
comply with the R&TTE regulations may be used by illegal
broadcasters, or so-called ‘pirate radio’ stations. Broadcasts by
these stations are a common cause of interference to other radio
users and the communications systems used by safety of life
Broadcast Warehouse Limited and its
two directors were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling
over £90,000 at Croydon Magistrates Court last week. This is the
largest sum ever awarded to Ofcom in a court case involving the sale
of illegal equipment.
During its investigation, Ofcom was
assisted by ComReg, the Irish communications regulator, and National
Air Traffic Services.
As part of the investigation, Ofcom
discovered that transmitters which contained illegal components from
Broadcast Warehouse Limited inside them, were being used by two
illegal radio stations to broadcast from the Republic of Ireland
across the border into Northern Ireland. Although Broadcast
Warehouse Limited and its directors were not responsible for the way
the transmitters were being used, these illegal stations were
causing interference to air traffic control systems on both sides of
The same type of illegal components
from Broadcast Warehouse Limited, were found in transmitters also
being used in the West Midlands by illegal broadcasters in the
Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas.
Paul Mercer, head of investigations
at Ofcom, said: “It is essential that our airwaves are kept free of
interference, as they are used for all modern communications
including systems used by the emergency services and aviation. Ofcom
will take firm and swift action against companies that breach the
rules and endanger public safety.”
£500 For "Stolen" Wi-Fi Bandwidth!
26 July 2005
"£500 fine appropriate for
UK man who stole wireless bandwidth"
would appear to be a worrying new trend, a west London man, Gregory
Straszkiewicz, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and fined £500
for using an open Wi-Fi connection on his notebook whilst parked in his
Constable Stephone Rothwell from Ealing CID was involved in the case and
said future cases would be treated in the same way. "This case is the
first of its type in the United Kingdom and it sets an example to people
who use increased computer technology to try and avoid paying for the
internet," he said.
We thought this was the whole
idea behind Wi-Fi. If someone sets up Wi-Fi without any security,
and then broadcasts the network ID at regular intervals, what do you
expect to happen? If you don't want anyone else using it, switch off
the network beacon, and add some passwords etc. A barmy decision
that now becomes "Case Law" in the UK "I refer your honour to the
case of The Crown Vs
fall back for any would-be impersonator is Frank Spencer, the hapless star
of the television series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, as Sussex police force
has discovered to its cost.
Officers have tracked down a man who stole a police radio and, for two
days, bedevilled the network with catchphrases such as "Ooh Betty" and
"Can I help you?"
Although the thief clearly thought he was amusing, police failed to see
When officers were called up to attend incidents, "Frank Spencer" would
crackle on to the airwaves, offering his assistance. At other times he
used the name Mr Blobby.
The radio was stolen when it was left unattended as officers dealt with an
incident at a filling station in Worthing, West Sussex.
Inspector Martin Pattenden, of Worthing Police, said: "This illegal use of our
network could have had serious consequences. This idiot was blocking the
airwaves and emergency calls would not have got through. "Each time the hoaxer was challenged over the radio to identify himself and
give himself up, he abused them. His obsession with Frank Spencer
impersonations was, however, his undoing.
A police patrol stopped a car for speeding and, as the driver was being
questioned, the passenger could not resist chirping up with: "Can I help
Sgt Andy Westwood, one of the patrol officers who stopped the car, was
immediately suspicious and asked the men to get out of the car while he
searched it. Under the front seat, he found the stolen radio.
"It was a really nice find," he said. "This man had made a real nuisance
of himself. His actions were a danger to police and the public."
A 21-year-old Worthing man has been arrested and released on policed bail.
Police have carried out an inquiry to find how the radio was left
but we couldn't resist this one!
9th June 2004
A Stratford mail order
company was ordered to forfeit and destroy 801 illegal devices after a
case was brought against them by The Office Of Communications under
European Commission Directive Standards. The hands-free mobile phone
adaptors were found to transmit on part of the FM band reserved for
Healthmail Limited, of
Warwick Road Stratford Upon Avon and Kineton, were found guilty by
Leamington Spa Magistrates and ordered to pay £200 costs.
Advertising Standards complaint upheld
Seems like a fine,
12 March 2003
A Northampton man who
admitted selling and using illegal mobile phone jammers was given a 12
month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £5,200 towards prosecution
costs when he appeared before Northampton Magistrates on Tuesday 11 March.
Seized apparatus was also forfeited.
Glenn Jeffery Darien, 40,
of Broadway, Northampton pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying and
using mobile phone jammers - illegal in this country.
The prosecution by the
Radiocommunications Agency followed an investigation by the Agency during
which a mobile phone jamming devise was purchased. Tests on the device
proved that it was effective at inhibiting communications within its
proximity and also capable of causing interference to adjacent radio bands
allocated for other use, such as fire, police and ambulance.
Mr Darien traded as K-9
Electronics, a retail company operating from a shop and office at
Kettering Road, Northampton.
(LPWS Note) It is interesting
that the Agency claimed that a device designed to jam mobile phones
"within its proximity" was also capable of interfering with fire,
police, and ambulance transmissions on vastly different frequencies and
Not in its proximity. The Radiocommunications Agency lying in court?
surely not, unless you know differently!
A Vast Behind!
14 February 2003
A man from Dartmouth who
used ships’ radio was conditionally discharged for 12 months and ordered
to pay £200 costs after pleading guilty to unlicensed possession and
broadcasting at Newton Abbots Magistrates’ Court on 10 February.
Jody Channer (29) of
Townstal Road in Dartmouth was charged with possession and use of two
unlicensed VHF radios. Officers of the Radiocommunications Agency found
the radios in August when carrying out a follow-up exercise to its Marine
Licensing Awareness campaign which took place in South Devon during June
The LPWS received
an email from solicitors, telling us to remove this story, as it was poking fun at Jody Channer. As all Court cases are a matter of public record, we made a
suitable response! Maybe he really does have a 'Vast Behind', if you
know, please tell us. (Probably, they are unaware that AVAST is a
nautical term meaning stop or desist)
Shopped by Radio Amateur!
10 February 2003
A Newark man who admitted
selling illegal CCTV transmitters was given a 60 hour community service
order, ordered to pay £300 in costs and had seized equipment ordered
forfeit when he appeared before Newark Magistrates on Monday 10 February.
David Mark, Burrows, 35,
of Loveden Close, Balderton pleaded guilty to two charges of selling radio
apparatus not compliant with the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications
Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000. He also asked for three similar
offences to be taken into consideration.
The prosecution by the
Radiocommunications Agency followed a complaint about interference from a
licensed radio amateur in May 2002.
The source of the
interference was identified as an illegal CCTV wireless transmitter
installed at a farm in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, which had been bought
from David Burrows’ company AERC. On 20 July 2002 Agency officers searched
the company’s premises and seized a number of television modules capable
of illegal operation on amateur frequencies. The AERC website claimed the
CCTV surveillance equipment was licence exempt.
Jaeban Ltd. Without Licence
21 November 2002
On 14 November Jaeban (UK)
Ltd of Welcome House on Wolverhampton Rd in Oldbury, West Midlands was
fined £1000, and ordered to pay £540 costs after pleading guilty at
Trafford Magistrates Court in Greater Manchester to a charge of unlicensed
use of a private mobile radio system contrary to Section 1(1) of the
Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949
Jaeban (UK) Ltd is a car
hire company with offices sited at Manchester International Airport. To
use a radio system it is necessary to hold a Private Mobile Radio (PMR)
Licence, issued by the Radiocommunications Agency.
During late 2001 the
Radiocommunications Agency became aware that Jaeban (UK) Ltd were
operating without a valid licence. As the company failed to rectify this
situation the Agency brought the prosecution in respect of the unlicensed
Jaeban have since applied
for and been granted a licence to operate a radio system.
Up The Pole in Solihull!
Nicholas Pole, 33, of Manor
Drive North, New Malden, Surrey was convicted at Solihull Magistrates
Court on 11 July of selling illegal hand held radios during an exhibition
at Birmingham's NEC.
He admitted importing 400
"Family Radio Service" (FRS) radios from America - which are illegal to
use in this country - and was charged with placing on the market apparatus
that is not compliant with United Kingdom Regulations.
Mr Pole was fined £2,000
and ordered to pay £1,410 costs after pleading guilty to offences under
the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations
2000. He was ordered to forfeit 15 FRS radios seized by the
FRS radio equipment is
widely used in America, but is still illegal in this country because they
do not operate on frequencies assigned for such use. Incidents of
interference have been traced to imported FRS radios after an
investigation by the Radiocommunications Agency following complaints from
Officers from the
Radiocommunications Agency were on duty at the Motorcycle Show at the G-Mex
Exhibition Centre in Manchester on 4 January 2002 where Mr Pole was
manning a stand called 'noocom.com', displaying a number of illegal FRS
radio transceivers. Mr Pole told the officers he had imported 33 radios
from America, of which he had sold 28. He explained he believed he had
acted lawfully and had published a declaration on his Internet site and
invoices regarding UK licensing.
However, six days
later on 10 January, Radiocommunications Agency officers attending the
Autosport exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham saw the defendant at the 'noocom.com'
stand, again displaying FRS radios. Mr Pole was interviewed where he
admitted he had in fact imported 400 such radios, and had sold nearly all
of them. A further 10 radios were seized.
C U Jimmy!
Duncan George McRae, of
Scorguie Court, Inverness was fined a total of £3,000 at Inverness
Sheriff's Court on 17 December for charges relating to illegally listening
and transmitting messages to aircraft flying over Scotland.
National Air Traffic
Services Ltd first alerted the Radiocommunications Agency (RA) to
unauthorised transmissions being made to aircraft in the Hebrides area. RA
officers, using sophisticated direction finding equipment, located Mr
McRae while he was transmitting on 21 July 2001.
Mr McRae had earlier
pleaded guilty to the charges of:
- installing and using
an aeronautical transceiver contrary to the Wireless Telegraphy Act
- using a radio
scanning receiver, contrary to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
He was fined £2,500 on
the first count and £500 on the second.
David Hendon, Chief
Executive of the Radiocommunications Agency said:
"Preserving the integrity
of air traffic control communications is essential. This conviction is a
tribute to the hard, and demanding, work of RA staff who are committed to
keeping the airwaves clean. We work closely with NATS to ensure that we
maintain air traffic control radiocommunications that are free from
Roger Whyatt of National
Air Traffic Services said:
"This is part of the
continuing close co-operation between NATS and the RA to detect sources of
interference to aircraft radiotelephone systems and safeguard the safe
operation of Air Traffic Services in the UK."
John Plant, 35, of
Clifton Drive North in St Annes on Sea was convicted of illegal
installation and use of radio transmitting equipment at Blackpool
Magistrates' Court on 20 February 2002. He was given a 12 months
conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £250 costs.
Mr Plant pleaded guilty
to offences under section 1(1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, and
was also ordered to forfeit all equipment seized from his home address.
During November last year
officers employed by the Radiocommunications Agency executed a search
warrant at Mr Plants' home address during their investigations into
unlicensed transmissions within the 6.6MHz frequency band, which is
reserved for aeronautical services.
On entering the premises
they found radio transmitting equipment and other items which were set up
to operate on the 6.6 MHz frequency band. The owner of the equipment was
identified as John Plant and all the equipment was seized as evidence.
Mr Plant was interviewed
and admitted to the officers that he had transmitted on 6.6 MHz band, and
did not hold any Wireless Telegraphy Act Licence.
Under Section 1.1 of the
1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act it is an offence to install or operate a
wireless telegraphy station without an appropriate licence.
Astra Taxi Fine
15 May 2001
A man from Clevedon was
convicted at Flax Bourton Magistrates Court on 11 May for using a mobile
radio system without a licence to run the taxi firm Astra Taxis.
Robyn Lawrence (50) had
initially been licensed to operate the radio system in 1998. He did not
renew his licence in 1999 but continued to use the radio system. The
Radiocommunications Agency became aware of the unlicensed use during a
routine check earlier this year. On 5 February Agency officers acting
under a search warrant again visited Mr Lawrence who admitted not having
renewed his licence.
At court Mr Lawrence, of
Kennaway Road, Clevedon, was charged with three counts of using radio
equipment without a licence. He pleaded guilty to all charges. He claimed
that he had sold the Astra Taxi business in February and had been
unemployed since then. Magistrates gave him a conditional discharge
sentence of 12 months; ordered him to pay £250 costs, and forfeited all
his radio and aerial antenna equipment.
Company Prosecuted by RA
Northampton Communications Limited was found guilty at Northampton
Magistrates Court today of illegally installing radio equipment for use by a
local taxi company.
The company based at 1 Victoria Road in Northampton, had supplied and
installed equipment that exceeded general licence conditions, such as
restrictions on aerial height, transmitter power and frequency.
The equipment also offered a facility known as 'Talkback', which greatly
increases the transmission range, and use of which is therefore restricted, as
it dramatically increases radio traffic and deprives use on shared frequencies.
The prosecution was brought by the Radiocommunications Agency, following
monitoring in the area. Agency Officers traced the main transmitter to the top
of a building in the centre of Northampton. After further investigations, the
transmitter was seized.
The Company was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £2635 costs.
Welsh Drive-in Restaurants Fined
A London company has been convicted of
two offences relating to the supply of non-approved radio communication
equipment for use by staff communicating orders at drive-in restaurants in
Music Marketing Services Ltd of Lots
Road, London SW10 pleaded guilty to two summonses under Section1(1) of the
Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 at Mold Magistrates' Court on 7 January 2000.
They were ordered to pay two fines - of £200 plus £100 costs for an
offence relating to a food outlet at Ewloe, and £200 plus £180 costs for
an offence at Flint.
Officers of the Radiocommunications
Agency had visited the restaurants at Ewloe and Flint in April 1998 and
February 1999 respectively and both restaurants were found to have been
supplied with equipment which was not approved for use in this country.
Manchester fitness centre has been convicted of using unlicensed
broadcasting equipment in its premises in Ellesmere Retail Park, Walkden,
to transmit television sound to individual headsets.
Fitness UK Ltd pleaded guilty to the charge at Salford City Magistrates'
Court on 12 August. The company was given a 12 month conditional
discharge, with £900 costs.
Hall McLaren of Ashen Bank, Tromode Woods, Bradden, Isle of Man, pleaded
guilty to installing and using the equipment. He was fined £500 with £900
complaints about broadcast interference from members of the public,
officers of the Radiocommunications Agency monitored VHF FM bands in the
vicinity of Total Fitness, and heard both terrestrial and satellite
programmes being retransmitted.
they visited the club with a search warrant, officers found a rack of
ten VHF transmitters, sending TV sound to receivers worn by club
members. All the broadcast equipment was seized.
a subsequent interview, Thomas McLaren admitted installing and using the
radio transmitters at the request of Total Fitness.
Who ordered The Curry?
Radiocommunications Agency successfully prosecuted a Halifax taxi
operator for the unlicensed use of his radio system contrary to
Section 1(1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 following his
failure to pay the annual licence fee.
Mohammed Saghir aged 53, proprietor of A1 Community Cars of Gibbet
Street, Halifax, failed to pay his licence fee to the
Radiocommunications Agency despite reminders.
As a result
his licence was revoked. Having confirmed that the radio system was
still in use, Agency officers visited A1 Community Cars on 22 June
1999, seized the radio equipment and interviewed Mr. Saghir.
Mr. Saghir then installed replacement equipment and this was seized
by Agency officers on the 24 June 1999.
Machin aged 49 of High Street, Burniston, Scarborough, admitted two
cases of operating without a licence when he appeared before Scarborough
Magistrates' Court on September 3.
He was fined £100
and ordered to pay £100 costs.
In April this
year technical staff from the Radiocommunications Agency inspected radio
equipment on two passenger boats registered to Mr Machin and found that
it was unlicensed. The systems were disconnected and Mr Machin was told
to obtain the appropriate licences. Mr Machin subsequently obtained the
All real, you couldn't make some of this stuff up!