Musician who stood still too long fined for breaching 19th century law

January 23rd, 2009 - 2:43 pm ICT by ANI  

London, January 23 (ANI): A musician has been slapped with fine after Manchester City Council dragged him to court for standing on the same spot for too long.
Elavi Dowie, 31, was charged with twice breaching a 19th century law on street trading, which allows traders to spend up to 20 minutes on the city’’s Market Street.
The decision to take Dowie to court was taken after CCTV footage proved that he was hawking CDs of his music for 35 minutes on one occasion.
On another occation, Dowie was found to stand at the same spot for several hours.
Local magistrates found him guilty of two counts of illegal street trading, and ordered him to pay fines and costs totalling 330 pounds.
Dowie, who is a dance musician, said that the decision to drag him to court was “ridiculous”.
“I was basically going up to people in the street and explaining to them about my music. The CD only cost PS1 and people were willing to buy it, the Telegraph quoted him as saying after the case.
“There have never been any complaints. It seems ridiculous when there’’s a recession to clamp down on someone who is trying to start a business,” he added.
The council, however, denies that the licensing officers had been heavy-handed.
“The council enterprise and protects consumers. Mr Dowie’’s activities were illegal and we have a duty to protect consumers, particularly during the current economic climate, said a spokesman for the council.
“Consumers who buy products from illegal street traders are unlikely to get their money back if they make a complaint,” he added. (ANI)

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