A TV LICENCE cheat claimed they did not need to pay because their goldfish was the only one who watched the box.
The implausible excuse was one of a number given to TV Licensing Enquiry Officers across the West Midlands in 2014.
Others included ‘I haven’t been able to get to the shop. I’m getting over a fatal bike crash I was in’ while another claimed ‘I have a TV but it doesn’t work as I have pet rats and they got out and chewed the Sky cable. The Sky bloke won’t come and fix it as one of the rats is still missing’.
Watching television without a licence can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesman for the West Midlands, said: “We are effective at catching evaders but it’s not surprising a few of those caught will try to avoid taking responsibility.
“Fewer than two per cent of households only watch catch up TV, so the vast majority of homes still need a TV Licence. Some of the humour and originality in this year’s excuses provided a laugh for our Enquiry Officers and customer service centre staff, but behind every excuse is someone who has been caught watching or recording live TV without a licence.”