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Pub boss 'defied court order' not to show Sky Sports football matches

A judge heard that televisions in the Avalon Bar in Kent Road, Glasgow, were tuned to Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Belgium last year.

Premises Photograph for The Avalon Bar (G3 7EH)

A pub boss and his daughter have been ordered to appear before a judge to explain why they apparently defied a court order to stop screening Sky Sports football.

A judge heard that televisions in the Avalon Bar in Kent Road, Glasgow, were tuned to Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Belgium.

Just two hours earlier manager Sarah McIntosh had been served with legal papers telling her British Sky Broadcasting had obtained an interdict.

Her father, David McIntosh, is director and sole shareholder of the company which runs the pub, was also served with the order.

Both could face a possible jail sentence if held to be in contempt of court.

BSkyB raised a civil action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh after sending an under-cover investigator to the Kent Road premises on August 3 last year, just a month after Mr McIntosh's company, Avalonbar Ltd, acquired the lease.

He noted that customers were watching the Celtic v Ross County Premier League game, which was being shown live.

Investigator Gary MacGregor also noted that Sky Sports logos could be seen on the screen and he was fairly sure the commentator was pundit Ian Crocker.

BSkyB claimed their copyright had been breached because the pub did not have a viewing card to entitle them to show the broadcasts commercially.

When the case first came before a judge on September 6 last year BSkyB were granted the interim interdict they asked for, pending a decision on the copyright question.

Lord Glennie was told the order was served on Mr McIntosh and his daughter at about 6pm.

At about 8pm that same evening, retired cops Alan Stevenson and his wife, Jacqueline, working as private investigators, went to the bar.

They reported that the World Cup qualifier was being shown on all three screens.

The case came back to court to hear claims that football matches broadcasts on the pub TVs had come from Arab sports channels or the internet.

But in a written ruling issued on Thursday Lord Glennie rejected the claims and found that the copyright had been breached.

Lord Glennie said there would be a further hearing to work out how much might be due in damages, once it had been worked out how much profit had been made by the pub showing the football matches.

He also ordered Ms and Ms McIntosh to appear to answer the charge of being guilty of contempt of court and breach of interdict. A date for the next hearing has not yet been fixed.

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