Canary keeper fined £800 over TV licence

PUBLISHED: 09:30 22 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 10 September 2010

Sam Williams

He may be a safe pair of hands for Norwich City, but goalkeeper David Marshall has scored an own goal after being fined for failing to pay his television licence.

He may be a safe pair of hands for Norwich City, but goalkeeper David Marshall has scored an own goal after being fined for failing to pay his television licence.

The Canaries star and Scotland international, 23, from Thorpe St Andrew, was fined £800 at Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday after being found guilty of the offence at an earlier hearing held in his absence.

Marshall, formerly of Scottish giants Celtic, was caught using his set without a licence by TV Licensing officials who paid a visit to his home in the Norwich area on April 15.

He was not in court yesterday and had no legal representation. The case had been adjourned from a previous hearing on June 23 for an assessment of his means needed to set the level of the fine - which was just short of the £1,000 maximum.

While the £750,000 Canaries signing failed to provide the court with information on his current salary, it is believed to run into six figures. An annual TV licence costs £139.50. He was also forced to pay £60 court costs and £15 victim surcharge.

In a further embarrassment to Marshall, who played a key role in Celtic's 2004 UEFA Cup defeat of Spanish club Barcelona, it also emerged in court that he has an unpaid fixed penalty notice issued for driving while using a mobile phone.

The £90 fine, which was due to be paid on July 15, followed an incident on July 8, and the TV licensing fine will be added to it.

Magistrate Cathy Dobson said in setting the fine she had taken into account the fact that Marshall has no previous convictions for TV licence evasion, but because of his likely high salary the amount was towards the higher limit.

She added: “We requested details of his means but were given nothing. As he has said he is a professional footballer we can assume he has a high level of income, far more than the average in the area.”

Marshall, born in Glasgow in March 1985, trained in the Celtic youth academy as a teenager before winning a place on the reserve team, where he excelled.

The 6ft 3ins keeper joined Norwich City on a free loan in January 2007 before signing permanently for the club seven months later.

He was the fans' third favourite for the Canaries' player of the season award as the only player to play in all matches last season.

And he has twice represented his country, and was on the Scotland squad which beat France twice in the qualifiers of Euro 2008.

The Evening News attempted to contact Marshall after yesterday's hearing but he was unavailable for comment.

Mark Whitehouse, regional spokesman for TV Licensing in East Anglia, said: “This demonstrates just how effective our detection methods are.

“We have a sophisticated database of more than 29m addresses across the UK so we can see at the touch of a button whether properties are unlicensed.

“We have also introduced high-tech handheld devices which we use alongside the fleet of detector vans.

“We would much rather people buy a licence than risk prosecution and a fine, which is why we offer a convenient range of ways to pay. But anyone who is found to be watching TV illegally risks a court prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 plus court costs - and they still need to buy a TV licence if they need one.”

Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Call Lucy Bolton on 01603 772429 or email lucy.bolton@archant.co.uk

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