The trader - who ran Cutprice Tomo TVs on Parliament Road in Middlesbrough - appeared at court today

TV dealer Brian Thompson has admitted selling Kodi boxes in a landmark court case.
The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges - one of selling the devices, which allow users to watch pirated sport and films, and another of advertising them for sale.

The charges against Thompson, who operates Cutprice Tomo TVs on Parliament Road in Middlesbrough, dated back to a six-month period between July 25, 2015 and January 30, 2016.

Middlesbrough Council brought the charges last year, at the time one of the first ever prosecutions relating to the sale of Android or Kodi boxes.

Thompson will be sentenced on the same day as similar case, of Julian Allen, 40, on October 20.

Allen, of the Wheel House, Billingham, was arrested after raids at Geeky Kit branches in Billingham and Middlesbrough in 2015.

He pleaded guilty in July to using or acquiring criminal property over a near 30-month period.

Previously in that case, £135,173 was said to have been the “financial proceeds from the supply of pre-loaded IPTV boxes and premium packages”.

These were similar to Kodi boxes and allowed users to stream copyright-protected material.

Judge Peter Armstrong told Thompson today at Teesside Crown Court: “Sentence in respect of the matters to which you’ve pleaded guilty this morning will be adjourned to October 20.

“The purpose of adjourning sentence is so that a pre-sentence report can be prepared on you.

“Your bail is renewed until that date. I have to warn you that the renewal of your bail at this stage mustn’t be taken by you as any indication of the type of sentence that’ll be passed.

“I don’t know what the sentence will be but all options will be open to the court when you’re dealt with. Free to go on those terms.”

The set top boxes - known as Kodi or Android boxes - allow users to stream subscription content like Premier League football and blockbuster films free of charge.

The box itself is not illegal, but the council maintained it was illegal to sell them “pre-loaded” with the capability of accessing copyrighted material.

But authorities have cracked down on them - with the Premier League being granted an injunction to block streams of live games.