A hotel caught without a TV licence has been fined.
The owners of the Halland Forge Hotel in Halland Street, Lewes, apologised for forgetting to renew their licence.
Manny and Aru Bedi told The Argus they were “extremely sorry” for the mistake, but forgot to renew their licence while Mrs Bedi was unwell during the pregnancy of her now two-month-old baby.
Mrs Bedi said: “I just missed it because I was expecting a baby.
“The TV Licensing people came here but spoke to a member of staff, not the owners. It’s a family-run business, so if they had asked for the owners we would have been able to sort it out.
“I had a bad pregnancy and was in and out of hospital. All last year I was in hospital. I was really sorry but I just forgot about it.
“We’ve always had a licence before and it’s been renewed now but we just forgot about it.”
Hastings Magistrates’ Court ordered the owners to pay £266 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises.
They were also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £20 victim surcharge at the hearing on Monday.
Martin Dyan, TV Licensing spokesman, said: “We appreciate these are tough times for businesses in the hospitality sector, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally.
“As our survey shows, those businesses who do try to get away with it might find the price of being caught to be higher than just a fine.
“We’d rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted. A licence costs £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online.”
There are special rules for TV licences in hotels. One licence can cover up to 15 rooms, but hotels with more than 15 rooms pay an additional £145 to allow guests to tune in.