Published: 11:00, 17 March 2016
| Updated: 11:00, 17 March 2016
Far-right pirate radio jock David Russell has promised to stay off the airwaves.
The father-of-two – who has been a member of the English Defence League – was arrested after his illegal station Motive8 hi-jacked the 90.4 FM frequency.
A judge heard how the DJ was operating legally when he broadcast over the internet – but two years ago he started transmitting over the airwaves – breaching the Wireless Telegraphy Act.
Now Russell, 45, of Mickleburgh Hill, Herne Bay, has told Judge Heather Norton he only did it so one of his sons had “street cred”.
He appeared at Canterbury Crown Court without a lawyer and pleaded guilty to breaching the 2006 Act by illegally running Motive8 from his home at the time in Lawrence Gardens, Herne Bay.
Russell, a full-time carer known as Davey J and Boss Man, said: “I made a mistake and it won’t happen again.”
Prosecutor Warwick Tatford said that broadcasting without a licence was a criminal offence.
“Those who hijack FM frequencies, pirate radio stations, are interfering with transmission and reception of signals by properly regulated stations, which pay for their licences,” he said.
“It may also cause dangerous disruption to transmissions on which the emergency services rely.”
He said Russell had been running Motive8 for five years – mostly over the internet – but in August 2013 it began branding 90.4FM in its advertising.
Officers from Ofcom raided his home in Herne Bay in December 2014, where they discovered Russell had been broadcasting via an iPhone to a transmitter in the roof.
Russell, who has 11,000 Facebook followers, agreed that some of his equipment, including a mixer, a transmitter, an iPhone and two advertising fliers be confiscated.
He was given a 12-month conditional discharge but was not made to pay any of Ofcom’s £11,159 investigation costs.
As he left the dock, the judge told him: “Internet only please, Mr Russell. Whether you agree with the law or not, it’s there and has to be obeyed.”
Russell replied: “Without doubt.”
After the raid Russell told his followers that 14 police officers and five Ofcom officials came to his house while he was in bed.
He added later: “This has all but wiped me out. It was overkill. This is not a big outfit, but it’s something we have to suffer. We are not earning money out of it.
“I might just get a slap on the wrist and get the kit back, most of which is my disabled son’s. But this has been an attempt to silence us.”