EIGHT people from Fermanagh have served jail time for failing to pay their TV licence fee fine, a FOI request from The Impartial Reporter has revealed.

In response to this newspaper’s query, the Department of Justice revealed that eight Fermanagh people were jailed between 2015 to 2019 for failure to pay their TV licences, and for defaulting on fines as a result of not paying for their licence.

You can only be imprisoned for failure to pay the fine that you are issued as a result of not paying your TV licence.

Some 303 people with addresses in Co. Fermanagh were convicted for not paying their TV licence during this period, with 302 of these individuals also fined for their failure to pay a tv licence.

2015 saw the most Fermanagh people convicted for not paying a tv licence, with 98 people receiving convictions, while 2019 had the fewest Fermanagh convictions, at 40 people.

In terms of prosecutions, the same period saw 475 Fermanagh people prosecuted for failure to pay their tv licences, with the most people prosecuted in 2015, at 131 people, while 2017 saw the fewest Fermanagh people prosecuted, at 73 people.

A TV licence costs £157.50 for domestic and business purposes. You need a TV licence to watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast or downloaded, or if you watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

You do not need a TV licence for non-BBC programmes on online catch-up services, DVDs, or watching clips on websites such as YouTube, or if you are watching CCTV feeds.

The fine for not paying your TV licence can be up to £1,000.

From 2015-2019, 196 Fermanagh people paid their fines in full, but 106 did not pay their fine in full, culminating in eight of these individuals serving a custodial sentence, according to the Department’s data released to this paper.