A former national newspaper editor who withheld his BBC licence fee in protest at the Sachsgate lewd message scandal has been fined £262, it emerged today.
Charles Moore, who used to edit The Daily Telegraph, refused to pay his £139.50 bill until the presenter Jonathan Ross was sacked for his part in leaving obscene messages on elderly actor Andrew Sachs' phone.
Writing in the paper today, Moore said he was fined £262 for using a colour TV without a licence during an appearance at Hastings Magistrates Court yesterday.
His protest came after messages left by Ross and the comedian Russell Brand on the answerphone of former Fawlty Towers star Sachs were broadcast on Radio 2 in October 2008 - causing a storm of controversy.
The calls included Ross telling Mr Sachs that Brand had slept with the actor's granddaughter Georgina Baillie and Brand joking he might kill himself.
More than 25,000 complaints poured into the BBC, and the corporation apologised for the "unacceptable and offensive" broadcast.
Ross, who was earning £6 million a year at the time, also ended up being suspended from the corporation for three months while Brand resigned from his own radio show.
Mr Moore wrote: "It was against my conscience, I told the magistrates, to be made to pay for the weird ideology which thinks that cruel jokes by Ross are justified because they 'push the boundaries'."
Ross announced in January this year he was leaving the BBC this summer after 13 years with the broadcaster.Reuse content