A former soldier who sold pirate TV packages will pay for it for the next five years, a judge ordered today (Thursday).
While Luke Scattergood walked free from Craigavon Crown Court after his 15-month prison sentence was given a three-year suspended sentence, Judge Patrick Lynch KC ordered the 35-year-old to pay Sky £250 a month until he is paid £15,000 in damages. met.
Scattergood, of the Manse Road in Portadown, had entered a guilty plea to participation in a fraudulent enterprise on dates between October 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020.
Prosecutor Nicola Auret outlined how a Sky TV detective contacted police in April 2020 to report her findings about the delivery of pirate TV packages.
Her investigation revealed that using his own social media accounts, Scattergood was promoting and advertising “UFTV packages”, which essentially consisted of a fire stick that could illegally access Sky programming.
Ms Auret said the researcher herself made a test purchase and received the fire stick and instructions for its use. After following those instructions, she was able to watch encrypted programs.
With Scattergood identified as the culprit, the PSNI investigated his financial affairs and discovered hundreds of transactions in his bank and PayPal accounts, involving the sale of just over 50 fire sticks.
Ms Auret said that while Sky estimated that if each of Scattergood’s customers had taken full packs on an annual contract they would have incurred a loss of around £271,000, the provable “minimum benefit to the defendant” is £25,800.
Defense attorney Conor Lunny admitted that the money “appears to have been wasted on gambling websites” but argued that essentially “the beneficiaries are mostly his children” in that he bought everything they needed.
He said that after leaving the military, Scattergood “did it for one reason: financial motivation and greed … but he never had a lavish lifestyle.”
Judge Lynch told Scattergood, “Sky tv has the right to sell their programs at a decent commercial price… you knew from the start it was totally illegal.”
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